At the dawn of the 20th century emerged a motion that swept the world of art in all its forms; Art Deco. This new creative approach left its mark on everything that falls within the realm of aesthetics, be it architectural marvels such as the iconic Chrysler and Empire state buildings, art in general or everyday utilities such as cars, clothing, tools, interior design etc. Bookbinding of course, as an amalgam of arts, jumped on this new train and the results were nothing short of spectacular.
Bindings that were influenced by Art Deco reflect all the aspects that made it so unique and recognizable; elegance,a delicate balance between contrast and harmony, use of perspectives and above all a sense of grandeur. What is amazing is that Art Deco achieved this by going back to the basics, studying lines and shapes anew.
Binders, those that lived in the era of Art Deco (1920-1940) up until the ones that are still inspired by it, incorporate these elements into their work. Bindings of this kind give the artisan the chance to express his/her imagination,the capability for complex designs and performing skills. Furthermore as decades progress and we cast our gaze back in time one may feel that such bindings emit a faint glow of nostalgia…
Art Deco was controversial; sometimes frugal while others sumptuous , abstract and at the same time explicit, obeying symmetry but flirting with irregularity, serving both the need for functionality and style.
In the end Art Deco managed to produce splendor through simplicity.
And that’s why it felt right.
Art Deco era bindings by Pierre Legrain and Paul Bonet.