Paris Art déco
Emmanuel Bréon and Hubert Cavaniol, photo by Laurent Thion
Following World War I, Europe tried to conjure during the roaring twenties - les Années folles – the new disaster that was looming. The period, which was incarnated by Joséphine Baker, the restaurant Le Bœuf sur le toit, jazz and the paintings by Tamara de Lempicka, also gave birth to a magnificent architectural production. While we easily date Art déco from the International Exposition of 1925, it really goes beyond those limits. In this book we go back to the first creations by Auguste Perret (among the théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 1911) and we can push as far as 1938 with the Dutch school at the international university campus at the Cité universitaire. The former museum of African and Oceanic arts (arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie), the Coupole restaurant, and the Rex cinema are iconic proofs. But the interest of the book is to remind the reader that the Art déco aesthetic affected all sectors including the post office, high schools, theatres such as the Folies-Bergère, apartment buildings and even pools (Piscine Molitor). The Banque Transatlantique, which contributed to finance the book, has a remarkable setting, that of the former Scalbert-Dupont bank. But we regret the notes are not as detailed on other unknown flagships such as the building on avenue Stéphane-Mallarmé, of which the photographs efficiently render the geometric perfection.
Review published in the newsletter #471 - from 4 May 2017 to 10 May 2017