Koloman Moser during Art Nouveau

Out of all the movements we’ve been focusing on i’ve been most interested in art nouveau.  It took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and goes by various names, such as the Glasgow style, or Jugendstil.  It’s aim was to modernize design and escape from the historical styles that had previously been popular.  This style of art was largely characterized by it’s use of long, sinuous, organic lines, which is what peeked my interest.  I immediately drew a connection to my style of art.  It has a very distinguishable decorative aspect to it with it’s smooth wave like motion that often takes form of flower stalks, vine tendrils, insect wings, and other natural objects.  The lines can be elegant and graceful or, take on a more powerful rhythmic force. 

One work in particular that caught my eye was the poster design by Koloman Moser.  I really like how he is able to make all the shapes flow together in order to create a bigger image.  Individually these these shapes appear to be no more than abstract squiggles.  However, these black shapes form to create an image of a woman’s hair, and the way they are elegantly spaced out gives it texture as well to even further push the image of hair.  A very crucial aspect to this design is the negative space.  This negative space is what creates the shape of her face.  It all flows together so well it’s hard to tell whats negative space and whats part of the actual image.  Another aspect I particularly like is how he ties the idea of naturalism into this.  The whole composition is composed of intricate linear designs and flowing curves, that are based off of the natural flow of her hair.  He even further pushes natural form into his work by forming parts of her hair into rose like shapes.  By subtly bring this actual object from nature into his piece he is able to solidify the naturalistic theme of art nouveau.  Finally, I really like how bold this piece is with the contrast between black and white.  This made it stand out too me from all of the other works I saw from art nouveau. 

Through this I was able to see where my style of art came from.  I like to express naturalism through a very similar style.  My medium of choice is a black marker or pen.  I like to play with negative shapes and contrast while still keeping a naturalistic feel to it.

Koloman Moser, Ver Sacrum, February 1899

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