Art and Craft: Developments in modern design??Introduction??Art and craft has evolved over the years influenced by different events and movements all over the world. Culture has been a key part in shaping art and craft since movement and traces of this can be seen in modern day art. This paper seeks to explore the developments in modern-day design by looking at three key movements that have affected the arts and craft world. The paper shall provide a conceptual framework to enable reflections into the inputs from different key figures to art and craft. It shall also provide the reader with an understanding of the audience’s response to each of the forms of art from each sub-topics covered below.??Art and Crafts Movement UK Late 19th century??The Art and Crafts Movement took place between 1880 and 1920 internationally encompassing both decorative and fine arts. The movement began in parts of Britain before extending to Europe and later on Northern America.
It was not until the 20th century that the art began emerging in Japan in the form of the Mingei movement. In America, this style of art grew to become the popular Mission style.??This movement presented art in the forms of simple medieval and romantic decoration styles.
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As part of the agenda for the movement, the artists in this era advocated for economic and social reforms which appeared to be anti-industry. Among the key activists under this movement was William Morris. The social activist was also a textile designer, a novel writer and would every now and then participate in poetry and translation.
Among his most recognizable changes in Britain was the successful introduction of the fantasy genre in art.??William disliked the classical approach used to teach art and he took a deep interest in medieval architecture and history. As an architect, William used tapestries, typography, mosaic art, book printing, wallpapers, fabrics (chintzes), wooden carvings, metal works, ceramics, jewelry, furniture and stained glass windows as part of interior décor, especially during the Victorian period. His idea of good art design was built on the notion of the existence a good society.??William felt that workers should be proud of their craftsmanship and their artistic talent instead of being brutalized by the tough conditions at the factories. This idea was born at a time when most of the art produced was of poor quality and design. This was largely due to the prevailing conditions where the artists were more focused on mass production than the quality of work produced. Among his first pieces of art during this era was the red house that he designed using red bricks and tiles rejecting all traditional art forms by forming an L-shape which was very uncommon at the time influenced by diverse Neo-Gothic architecture.
??William and his peers submitted that quality work in-place of poor designed mass production could not only deliver a lot of pride to the craftsman but also would generate the much needed economic reforms in art. Majority of the adherents to the Arts and Crafts Movement were artists, architects, designers, writers, craftsmen and a huge number of philanthropists who were all brought together by the common agenda of bringing to life aesthetics and the significance of design and craftsmanship in the era of proliferating industrialization.??These idealists were not entirely against the use of machines but objected the idea of division of labor that came with industrialization on the premise that this caused a huge disconnect between a craftsman and his work affecting the overall quality of the art.
??Art Nouveau??The Art Nouveau comes from the French term meaning “new art”. The art had its roots in France and Belgium before spreading to other parts of Europe. Among the activists for this form of art was Aubrey Vincent Beardsley a British illustrator and book writer. Most of his artwork was done using black ink as an inspiration from the Japanese woodcuts.
As an artist his art aimed at highlighting grotesque, erotic and decadent themes in the society.?Unlike the Art and Crafts Movement that focused on social reforms, this new art principle targeted clutter and the eclecticism that characterized the 19th century. The focus of this movement included organic, flowery and plant motifs and other forms of highly specialized craftsmanship. This international style came up as a response to academic art that distressed to the 19th century. In this type of art, the artists used furniture, jewelry, textiles, ceramics, graphic arts, glass art and metal work and paintings in interior design and architecture.?In the organic form of art, the artists included sudden violent curves fondly referred to as whiplash as the primary form of expressing their art. The curved lines would be combined with asymmetrically arranged form sand patterns and would mostly be used to express vines, peacock feathers, butterflies, lilies, insects, grass and such like images. This was an artistic movement that hit its peak in between 1890 and 1905 with its practice?Applying mostly to two fields; applied art and architecture.
This type of art was often employed in book printing and the printing of posters. It would often be found in magazines, labels, adverts, and typography.??The whole idea behind this art, however, was that good art could only come from nature. In this concept, the artists objected any borrowing of ideas from older forms of art and even culture. However, this style of art did not last for long and was overtaken by the European architecture and decorative styles by 1910.??Bauhaus (Germany) 1920’s and1930’s??As one of the most influential arts of the 20th century, the Bauhaus focused on the idea of modernist art.
The motivation behind this art was the anxiety regarding the increasing loss of connection between the artist and his work as a result of growing manufacturing in the 19th century. This form of art brought together crafts and fine art and was most popular in 1919-1933. The art was founded by Walter Adolph Georg Gropius a German architect who pioneered modernist architecture.??The artists in this genre were largely driven by the fear that art may lose its place in the society and the idea was to rejuvenate design. This form of art retained a lot of intellectual and theoretical concepts with a major emphasis on practical skills, craftsmanship and technique.
This form of art advocated for fine interior design using industrially produced objects such as the armchair F 51.??This form of art brought together architects, sculptors and painters as critical teams in craftsmanship on the belief that art takes over wherever engineering ends. Amongst its major achievements, the Bauhaus placed craftsmanship art on par with other sculpturing and painting the two other forms of fine art that were popular at the time.??Critical evaluation??Art and crafts form a critical part of every society. It is evident architecture, sculpture art and even painting are inseparable forms of art and hence are all critical in both interior and exterior design. Separating the works of art between different artists as is the case in industrialization may result in higher volumes but this comes at a cost of the quality of art produced.
Above all, craftsmanship remains largely dependent on how personalized the artist feels their work is.