Art Nouveau

Mon 16 Mar 2015


The end of the nineteenth century and the early years of the twentieth century were marked by the development of an international Art Nouveau style, characterized by sinuous lines, floral and vegetable motifs, and soft evanescent coloration. The Art Nouveau style was an eclectic one, bringing together elements of Japanese art, motifs of ancient cultures, and natural forms. The glass objects of this style were elegant in outline, although often deliberately distorted, with pale or iridescent surfaces. A favored device of the style was to imitate the iridescent surface seen on ancient glass that had been buried. Much of the Art Nouveau glass produced during the years of its greatest popularity had been generically termed “art glass.” Art glass was intended for decorative purposes and relied for its effect on carefully chosen color combinations and innovative techniques.

France produced a number of outstanding exponents of the Art Nouveau style; among the most celebrated was Emile Galle (1846-1904). In the United States, Louis Comfort Tiffany (1843-1933) was the most noted exponent of this style, producing a great variety of glass forms and surfaces, which were widely copied in their time and are highly prized today. Tiffany was a brilliant designer, successfully combining ancient Egyptian, Japanese,
and Persian motifs.

The Art Nouveau style was a major force in the decorative arts from 1895 until 1915, although its influence continued throughout the mid-1920’s. It was eventually to be  overtaken by a new school of thought known as Functionalism that had been present since the turn of the century. At first restricted to a small avant-garde group of architects and designers, Functionalism emerged as the dominant influence upon designers after the First
World War. The basic tenet of the movement-that function should determine from-was not a new concept. Soon a distinct aesthetic code evolved: from should be simple, surfaces plain, and any ornament should be based on geometric relationships. This new design concept, coupled with the sharp postwar reactions to the styles and conventions of the preceding decades, created an entirely new public taste which caused Art Nouveau types of 
glass to fall out of favor. The new taste demanded dramatic effects of contrast, stark outline and complex textural surfaces.

Questions:

1. What does paragraph 1 mainly discuss?
(A) Design elements in the Art Nouveau style
(B) The popularity of the Art Nouveau style
(C) Production techniques for art glass
(D) Color combinations typical of the Art Nouveau style

2. The word “one” in line 4 refers to 
(A) century    
(B) development    
(C) style    
(D) coloration

3. Para.1 mentions that Art Nouveau glass was sometimes similar to which aspect of ancient buried glass
(A) The distortion of the glass    
(B) The appearance of the glass surface
(C) The shapes of the glass objects    
(D) The size of the glass objects

4. What is the main purpose of paragraph 2?
(A) To compare different Art Nouveau styles
(B) To give examples of famous Art Nouveau artists
(C) To explain why Art Nouveau glass was so popular in the United States
(D) To show the impact Art Nouveau had on other cultures around the world

5. The word “prized” in line 14 is closest in meaning to 
(A) valued    
(B) universal    
(C) uncommon    
(D) preserved

6. The word “overtaken” in line 19 is closest in meaning to
(A) surpassed    
(B) inclined    
(C) expressed    
(D) applied

7. What does the author mean by stating that “function should determine form” (line 22)?
(A) A useful object should not be attractive.
(B) The purpose of an object should influence its form.
(C) The design of an object is considered more significant than its function.
(D) The form of an object should not include decorative elements.

8. It can be inferred from the passage that one reason Functionalism became popular was that it
(A) clearly distinguished between art and design
(B) appealed to people who liked complex painted designs
(C) reflected a common desire to break from the past
(D) was easily interpreted by the general public

9. Paragraph 3 supports which of the following statements about Functionalism?
(A) Its design concept avoided geometric shapes.
(B) It started on a small scale and then spread gradually.
(C) It was a major force in the decorative arts before the First World War.
(D) It was not attractive to architects all designers.

10. According to the passage, an object made in the Art Nouveau style would most likely include
(A) a flowered design        
(B) bright colors
(C) modern symbols        
(D) a textured surface

Answers:

1)B 2)C 3)B 4)B 5)A 6)A 7)B 8)C 9)B 10)A

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