While April 15 is known more often as the dreaded Tax Day in the United States, it’s also the day we celebrate World Art Day. On this day, we recognize artists’ contributions throughout history and how their creative thinking has influenced culture through the centuries and decades since.
Of course, this influence is undeniable in architecture and design, where we can trace art movements from Rococo to Postmodernism through buildings around each major city. In celebration of World Art Day 2023, we’re highlighting several recent artistic movements, the art and artists that made them famous, and how they influence aspects of design in our daily environment. We’re also calling attention to how these artistic movements are being utilized in commercial interior spaces and with commercial flooring products these days.
The Art Nouveau movement rejected the mass-produced aesthetic of the Industrial Revolution, instead getting inspiration from natural forms and feminine lines. Famous artists of this period (1883-1914) include Gustav Klimt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Aubrey Beardsley, who contributed notable artworks to the genre including “The Kiss” and “Moulin Rouge: La Goulue.”
Art Nouveau inspired all areas of design, including architecture, interiors, jewelry, illustration, graphic design and product design. Here in the United States, we often call this particular look the Tiffany Style, thanks to the work of jeweler and glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany, who created the iconic Tiffany lamp during this period.
This style was also popular around Europe, where the architect and designer Hector Guimard created the curved glass and wrought iron canopies that marked the entrances to the Paris Métro, many of which are still preserved today. And in Vienna, architect Joseph Maria Olbrich designed the Secession Building, a variation of Art Nouveau, which features the “Beethoven Frieze” by Klimt.
Our partner Encore creates beautiful carpeting for hospitality clients and one of our favorite patterns gets inspiration from the natural world.
Most of us in the United States are familiar with Art Deco as it is the dominant architectural style for Miami’s South Beach. This art movement was a highlight of the 1930s and was pleasing to the eye with its symmetrical, geometric and streamlined look.
Famous artists of the period included the Baroness Tamara de Lempicka, a significant figure in Paris influenced by Cubism, and Georges Lepape, who started as an illustrator for “Vogue.” In addition, Cassandre was a pioneer in graphic design whose posters are some of the most memorable Art Deco works.
Art Deco influenced the most famous buildings in New York City: Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and, of course, the Empire State Building. The Rockefeller family commissioned Jose Maria Sert to paint a mural for the lobby of their center, “America Progress,” a great example of combining classical and modern elements.
Art Deco also influenced fashion. Erté was an influential fashion designer and illustrator recognized for his sophisticated and highly stylized fashion illustrations. His works graced the covers of “Harper’s Bazaar,” “Vogue” and “Cosmopolitan.”
We love how Art Deco is on display in this airport carpeting with a modern feel.
Pop Art was primarily a British and American cultural phenomenon in the late 1950s and 1960s, and glorified popular culture and elevated the commonplace, such as Campbell’s soup cans. It was heavily inspired by television and comic books rejecting the pretensions of ‘high art.”
Popular artists of the movement included Jasper Johns, Claus Oldenburg and James Rosenquist. Roy Lichtenstein’s print reproductions of comic book scenes were a striking example of Pop Art, as were Andy Warhol’s repeated silk-screen prints.
Similar to the approach in art, mass production and commercialism were front and center in architecture and became a canvas for the massive scale of Pop Art. It became popular for public art installations and interior design, using bright, often clashing colors and comic-like posters. Furniture was usually about look and style versus functionality.
Check out our case study with Marabella where we custom-designed bold carpeting for a university that has Pop Art vibes and uses vibrant colors to make a statement.
Minimalism is exactly as it sounds, characterized by hard edges, simple forms and clean lines. It strips away extraneous details and emotional expression often found in more abstract art forms.
Famous artists of the period include Frank Stella, Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, and Donald Judd. Judd was an American artist, painter and sculptor who popularized minimalist design using geometric forms and simplistic design. Dan Flavin, another movement leader, was unique in using fluorescent lights in his sculptures.
Minimalist architecture also focuses on simplicity and using industrial materials like concrete. Interiors follow suit, with clean lines and limited clutter. Scandinavian design is an excellent example of minimalism, using natural finishes like wood and stone with pops of color, geometric shapes and functional designs.
Minimalism continues to influence our design in branding, website design and packaging. Look no further than Apple, whose sleek design has become a symbol of the company and is instantly recognizable.
We love the minimalist feel of this carpeting for an office or waiting area.
Summing it All Up
You can see how the world of art has influenced architecture and design over the years. Even today, many designers look to works of art as inspiration for their designs’ color and patterns, from furniture to flooring, whether for an office, school or hotel.
Have you ever designed with a piece of art in mind? Which design influences do you see being utilized in commercial interior spaces today? Is there one art style you think works best for certain contract interior spaces? We’d love to see your thoughts! Share a photo in the comments below!