Art Nouveau is a complex, eclectic international movement that comprises various styles in Europe and North America. It has two general trends, one is a stylized organic, curvilinear form called Art Nouveau. The second, more rectilinear, geometric, and abstract trend is called Jugenstil.
Art Nouveau is a conscious attempt to create a new style that rejects historicism and adopts a new visual language. Art Nouveau design displays some common characteristics. Line, whether curving and sensuous or straight and geometric, is an important principle that designers explore and exploit. Line together with form conveys energy, force, dynamism, and/or growth. Designers reduce motifs and naturalistic forms to their essence, transforming them to their intentions.
Art Nouveau architecture strives to create a modern style free from historicism and academic traditions. Emphasizing the individuality of the architect, this new architecture incorporates new materials and industrial processes and an emphasis on structure and function.
Types: Commercial buildings include stores, hotels, offices, schools, churches, auditoriums, concert halls, and metro stations.
Site Orientation: in city centers and because nature is a major design concept, houses may feature lawns or gardens that extend to the interior space.
Floor Plans: open with free-flowing space to minimize visual separateness and to connect interior spaces to the exterior.
Materials: iron, glass and stone combinations
Facades: Exterior facades display movement vertically and horizontally to create a sculptural, fluid expression.
Windows: large and have vertical emphasis
Art Nouveau furniture, designed for contemporary interiors or model rooms, displays great diversity of form, shape, and concept. Some designers reject traditional forms and methods of construction, while others use them as springboards for their own creations.
Types: No particular types of furniture are associated with Art Nouveau, but architects individually design much of it, including small accent pieces such as mirrors, shelves, and music stands.
Features: Like the interiors, furniture displays two trends in form and decoration.
The greatest diversity in all of Art Nouveau furniture appears in the seating where the individual imagination of the creator can find its fullest expression. “translation: you think it …it is possible.”
Symbols and Motifs:
Popular motifs stylized from nature include flowers such as the rose, violets, iris, and water lily, and animals such as the dragonfly, butterfly, snail and peacock.
Art Nouveau greatly influences the decorative arts. Many architects and artists, like Riemerschmid, design metalwork in forms, shapes, and motifs that complement their interiors. Similarly, artists and ceramists create ceramics that reflect Art Nouveau design principles, whether curving forms or naturalistic details or geometric with minimal surface decoration. Also a hierarchy changed between porcelain to stoneware or earthenware.