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Art Deco paintings originated in the 1920s after the style was introduced at the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925. The style then flourished in Western Europe and the United states throughout the 1930s.
Art Deco is often considered as a reaction against Art Nouveau, which is known for its highly decorative style and natural motifs. In comparison, Art Deco draws inspiration from modernity and the notion of mass production. It celebrated the design qualities of modern objects, the simplicity and functionality of geometric shapes and saw beauty in clean lines.
Art Deco was often inspired by war propaganda posters and mass-produced items, meaning it was more commonly associated with architecture or furniture design. However, there were some prominent artists who applied the style to the medium of paint. These paintings are characterised by their elegance and simplicity, lending itself to many mediums such as craft objects, architecture and fashion.
Art Deco painting would often feature stylised and angular figures and portray these figures as wealthy, elegant and modern. The Polish-born artist Tamara de Lempicka was a prominent Art Deco painter who focused on female subjects to reflect the shifting social position of women in the 20th century.
During the interwar period the role of women in society had drastically shifted. With men at war, women had to take on roles that had never been open to them before. As a result, women were liberated. They were able to drink in bars with men and drive cars. Tamara de Lempicka’s portrait paintings epitomise the style and the time, capturing scenes of glamour, elegance and libration.
Kevin Jackson explores the digital and virtual world in which we live. His paintings appear to trace the electric energy which surrounds us, forming patterns and lines which pulse and move across the canvas. His images emulate the same simplicity, elegance and repetition as Art Deco from the 1920s and 1930s, and similarly share an interest in modernism and progression.