Italian Deco In Italy

If you are in Italy now–or if you’ll be participating in SVA’s Masters Workshop in Venice and Rome (May 24-June 6)–you should check out the exhibition of Italian art deco design, Deco: Arte in Italia 1919-1939 (Jan 31 – June 28) at the Palazzo Roverella in the north-eastern city of Rovigo in the Italian region of Veneto. The exhibit explores the movement’s development in Italy, and rather than limiting itself to architecture or interior decoration–“the traditional darlings of the movement” according to its organizers–this exhibit focuses on the beauty of graphics and fashion.
   
Art deco was more than a mere decorative manifestation. It was a frame for both consumerism and politics–Italian Fascism was awash in streamlined deco designs. Italy has a blend of deco or moderne simplicity and Novocentro complexity as a foundation for its 20th-century design.
   
Although art deco presumably died when World War II began, it is continually revived. What, if anything, do you consider to be the “new” art deco? Tell me in the comments.

On another, important note: I’m hosting Print‘s first-ever webinar this Tuesday, March 10, at 4 pm EST. Come to printmag.com to hear me speak live about how to get the most out of a creative relationship–register today!

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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