Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes
The International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts was a World's fair
World's Fair
World's fair, World fair, Universal Exposition, and World Expo are various large public exhibitions held in different parts of the world. The first Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom, in 1851, under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All...

 held in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, from April to October 1925. The term "Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

" was derived by shortening the words Arts Décoratifs, in the title of this exposition, but not until the late 1960s by British art critic and historian, Bevis Hillier. Artistic creation in the années folles
Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America, but also in London, Berlin and Paris for a period of sustained economic prosperity. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism...

 in France is marked by this event, when on this occasion many ideas of the international avant-garde in the fields of architecture and applied arts were brought together. This major event of the 20s was located between the esplanade of Les Invalides
Les Invalides
Les Invalides , officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides , is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's...

 and the entrances of the Grand Palais
Grand Palais
This article contains material abridged and translated from the French and Spanish Wikipedia.The Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées, commonly known as the Grand Palais , is a large historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex located at the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France...

 and Petit Palais
Petit Palais
The Petit Palais is a museum in Paris, France. Built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900 to Charles Girault's designs, it now houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts ....

. It received 4,000 guests at the inauguration on April 28, and thousands of visitors each of the following days.

This exhibition epitomized what came to be called decades later "Art Deco," a "modern" style characterized by a streamlined classicism, geometric and symmetric compositions, and a sleek machine-age look. The Exposition poster, by Robert Bonfils, imitating the look of a woodblock
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

 print, featured a modern athletic nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

 and a racing gazelle. René Lalique
René Lalique
René Jules Lalique was a French glass designer known for his creations of perfume bottles, vases, jewellery, chandeliers, clocks and automobile hood ornaments. He was born in the French village of Ay on 6 April 1860 and died 5 May 1945...

's crystal tower fountain was a prominent set-piece of the Exposition. Other prominent motifs included stylized animals, lightning flashes, and "Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

" (and other exotic) motifs. Some of these were motifs and the design aesthetic was derived from French Decorative Cubism
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture...

, German Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

, Italian Futurism
Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century.Futurism or futurist may refer to:* Afrofuturism, an African-American and African diaspora subculture* Cubo-Futurism* Ego-Futurism...

, and Russian Constructivism
Constructivism (art)
Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1919, which was a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The movement was in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. Constructivism had a great effect on modern art movements of the 20th...


The central body of exhibits seemed to present the fashionable products of the luxury market, a signal that, after the disasters of World War I, Paris still reigned supreme in the arts of design. At the same time, other examples such as the Esprit Nouveau pavilion and the Soviet pavilion were distinctly not decorative, they contained furnishings and paintings but these works, including the pavilions, were spare and modern. The modern architecture of Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

 and Konstantin Melnikov
Konstantin Melnikov
Konstantin Stepanovich Melnikov was a Russian architect and painter. His architectural work, compressed into a single decade , placed Melnikov on the front end of 1920s avant-garde architecture...

 attracted both criticism and admiration for its lack of ornamentation. Criticism focused on the 'nakedness' of these structures, compared to other pavilions at the exhibition, such as the Pavilion of the Collector by the ébéniste
Ébéniste is the French word for a cabinetmaker, whereas in French menuisier denotes a woodcarver or chairmaker. The English equivalent for "ébéniste," "ebonist," is never commonly used. Originally, an ébéniste was one who worked with ebony, a favoured luxury wood for mid-seventeenth century...

-decorator Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann
Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann
Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann , his first names often seen reversed as Jacques-Émile, was a renowned French designer of furniture and interiors, epitomising for many the glamour of the French Art Deco style of the 1920s....

. These modernist
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 works were integral projects of their own specific movements, so today the term "Art Deco" is used for other works at the exposition with more accuracy.

Le Corbusier's Esprit Nouveau pavilion attracted attention for reasons in addition to its modernism, such as his vast theoretical project that the pavilion embodied. L'Esprit Nouveau was the name of the Rive Gauche
Rive Gauche
La Rive Gauche is the southern bank of the river Seine in Paris. Here the river flows roughly westward, cutting the city in two: looking downstream, the southern bank is to the left, and the northern bank is to the right....

 journal in which Le Corbusier first published excerpts of his book Vers une architecture
Toward an Architecture
Vers une architecture, translated into English as Toward an Architecture and commonly known as Towards a New Architecture is a collection of essays written by Le Corbusier , advocating for and exploring the concept of modern architecture...

, and within this pavilion he exhibited his Plan Voisin for Paris. The Plan Voisin, named for aviation pioneer Gabriel Voisin
Gabriel Voisin
Gabriel Voisin was an aviation pioneer and the creator of Europe's first manned, engine-powered, heavier-than-air aircraft capable of a sustained , circular, controlled flight, including take-off and landing. It was flown by Henry Farman on January 13, 1908 near Paris, France...

, was a series of identical 200 meter tall skyscrapers and lower rectangular apartments, that would replace a large section of central Paris in the Rive Droite
Rive Droite
La Rive Droite is most associated with the river Seine in central Paris. Here the river flows roughly westwards, cutting the city into two: looking downstream, the northern bank is to the right, and the southern bank is to the left....

. Although this was never built, the pavilion was and represented a single modular apartment within the broader urban theoretical project.
Notable examples of Russian constructivism
Constructivism (art)
Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1919, which was a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The movement was in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. Constructivism had a great effect on modern art movements of the 20th...

 were the Alexander Rodchenko
Alexander Rodchenko
Aleksander Mikhailovich Rodchenko was a Russian artist, sculptor, photographer and graphic designer. He was one of the founders of constructivism and Russian design; he was married to the artist Varvara Stepanova....

 designed worker's club, and Konstantin Melnikov designed Soviet pavilion. Vadim Meller was awarded a gold medal for his scenic design. Student work from Vkhutemas
Vkhutemas ) was the Russian state art and technical school founded in 1920 in Moscow, replacing the Moscow Svomas. The workshops were established by a decree from Vladimir Lenin with the intentions, in the words of the Soviet government, "to prepare master artists of the highest qualifications for...

 won several prizes, and Melnikov's pavilion won the Grand Prix. Due to continued national tensions after the first world war, Germany was not invited. Austria however contributed Frederick Kiesler's City in Space exhibit to house the Viennese documentation, this exhibit was commissioned by Josef Hoffman.

Polish graphic arts were also successfully represented. Tadeusz Gronowski
Tadeusz Gronowski
Tadeusz Lucjan Gronowski was a Polish graphic artist, architect who worked as an interior designer, painter, and a book illustrator.He is considered to be one of the creators of the Polish modern poster...

 won the Grand Prix in that category. Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen
Arne Jacobsen
Arne Emil Jacobsen, usually known as Arne Jacobsen, was a Danish architect and designer. He is remembered for contributing so much to architectural Functionalism as well as for the worldwide success he enjoyed with simple but effective chair designs.-Early life and education:Arne Jacobsen was born...

, still a student, won a silver medal for a chair design.

Among the 15,000 exhibitors the sculptor and architect Ivan Meštrović
Ivan Meštrovic
Ivan Meštrović was a Croatian and Yugoslav sculptor and architect born in Vrpolje, Croatia...

 was awarded a Grand Prix for The Racic Mausoleum in Cavtat
Cavtat ) is a town in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia. It is on the Adriatic seacoast 15 km south of Dubrovnik and is the centre of the Konavle municipality.-History:...


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