Author(s): Matteo Fochessati
Nurtured by the aesthetic-social critique undertaken by the British Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau contrasted the heaviness of mechanical production with the ingenious elegance of forms inspired by pure and alluring lines, based on plant forms. Enlivened by nostalgic fin de siecle decadence, the movement's unique style was built upon the transposition of industrial materials and techniques into the pristine elegance of the vernacular handicraft tradition. The wealth of images in this book illustrate the artists' approach, and the objects themselves, as well as the birth and evolution of Art Nouveau in the countries that contributed most to the success of this new aesthetic - France, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, United States, etc.
Matteo Fochessati (Genoa 1961) is curator of the Wolfsoniana in Genoa as well as a contributor to Il Giornale dell' Arte and the culture and arts pages of Il Lavoro-La Repubblica. As an art historian and critic he deals with contemporary figurative trends and twentieth-century artistic phenomena, curating or taking part in academic committees for many exhibitions both in Italy and abroad.
Contents: The Legacy of the Arts and Crafts movement; Fin-de-siecle Decadentism; The Invention of the Modern; Vernacular Expression between Identifying Spirit and Romantic Nationalism; Japonisme; The Forms of Nature; Towards the Total Artwork; Catalan Modernismo; The Lesson of Horta and van de Velde; The French Way; The 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris; Focus on: The Paris Metro, Tassel House; Selected References.