Noteworthy Art Deco mosaics & architectures (06)
Made at the Stuc & Mosaic’s studio, the exhibition (open to the public) revisits the style of the 1930s mosaics made noteworthy by the famous 1930s mosaic artist: Isidore Odorico. It also presents some photos of ornamentations on constructions (with Art Deco style mosaics) built by the architects Georges Dikansky and René Livieri in the region. An introduction to an often-unknown heritage of the Arts applied to the Architecture in the XX th Century!
RETROSPECTIVE ART-DECO MOSAIC STYLE
Why such an enthusiasm for mosaic artworks in the 1930s?
The early 1900s and the roaring twenties have been a period of prolific collaboration between architects and craftworkers in the Decoration field. The art deco trend rehabilitated the Minor Arts, with the development of wood, metal, ceramics as well as marble, exotic wood and glass. Whenever a lasting and attractive floor covering was required, mass-produced mosaic (which was a new permanent, colourful and inexpensive material) was employed.
In that context, the ‘Odorico’ mosaic style represented a total artistic renewal.
Descended from the Italian diaspora and of a family tradition of mosaic craftsmen, the mosaic artist Isidore Odorico created a style entirely new and different from the Venitian or Roman tradition. This style spread throughout France, including on the Cote d’Azur.
Besides the proliferation of stoneware tiles and mass-produced mosaic manufactures in France, which responded to new building trade requirements, other mosaic artists and ceramists made themselves known at the 1925 International art, crafts, and industry exhibition in Paris. They worked in close collaboration with the most noteworthy architects of that period.
In Nice, the roaring twenties are characterized by a period of abundant architectural creativity and some constructions will benefit directly from the consequences of the 1925 exhibition. This is the case of ‘La Rotonde‘: one of the most famous realizations of the architect Dikansky (known as an enthusiastic representative of the Art Deco and Classicisme styles). This construction is ornated with a rich and colourful floral mosaic ornamentation with typical 1930s geometrical lines. The mosaics are present accross all the perimeter of this semi-circular building.
Another example is the ‘Gloria Mansions‘: a construction made by the architect Hovnanian, symbol of a luxurious modern architecture, influenced both by the Decorative Arts School and by a modern american conception (as a recall to the 1930s new-york-style appartement-hotel).
This building presents a magnificient colourful glasswork, created by a glassmaker (Lasalle) according to the drawing of a famous period armenian painter (Mahokian). The design is original and sophisticated and the mosaic represents a landscape (pointillism style) just as real artistic artwork applied to the architecture.
Other outdoor mosaics representing also a landscape and a more characteristic geometric shape, decorate a pergola in the interior courtyard of the building.
The ‘Gloria Mansions’: one of the art deco masterpieces in Nice, listed historical monument, has benefited from a majestic restoration since 2012.
ART-DECO RESURGENCE or NOSTALGIA?
Enhance the historical and architectural value of a sober 1930s construction with an Art Deco mosaic!