Influence on Modern Art: Tamara de Lempicka

POSTED IN Art, Art history, Culture
By Tobi Onifade
One of my favourite quotes which coincidentally is also a Scripture in the Bible is “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun”. I know this to be true especially when it comes to Art and Design. Today, past movements and styles influence many works of Art and Craft, and Art Deco is one of those that have greatly influenced modern art.
Art Deco is a decorative style movement that started in the 1920’s (right before the First World War). The name is derived from “Exposition Internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes”  (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) which was an exhibition held in Paris. This exhibition showcased a new style of Architecture, Interior Design, Glass and many more. Art Deco paid homage to Cubism, the Bauhaus movement, Fauvism, Asian decorative art and magnificent craftsmanship.
The visual characteristics of Art Deco according to are Geometric shapes and patterns (the influence of Cubism, Bauhaus and Asian patterns), Bold colours (inspired by the Fauvist movement), Visual drama, Mirrors and Metallic finishes.
Tamara de Lempicka was a well-known Art Deco artist whose style was dubbed as soft cubism. Although a controversial figure, her works were known for colour, clean and precise shapes, and overall Jazzy and sophisticated look.



Image one is a painting called” Young Girl with gloves”. Polish artist Tamara De Lempicka did it. Image two is a Translucent Pale Green Aventurine Necklace Fluff necklace crafted by Etsy artist, Nancy Helmer.
I am not sure if there is a historical background to the necklace, but looking at the necklace, one cannot help but notice the similarities between the painting and the product. First of all the colours are really similar (Lime Green), the use of geometric shapes to create an abstract form is also quite obvious, the craftsmanship which is a characteristic of Art Nouveau, as well as the overall sophisticated outlook of the necklace, makes one wonder if the necklace is a different creative interpretation of the painting.
Florence Welch of “Florence and the Machine” has also drawn inspiration from the Artist. She teamed up with Karl Lagerfeld for the cover shoot for her limited edition Shake it out vinyl. (Only 500 copies were made) Coincidentally, Florence was Karl’s muse for the Chanel Spring 2012’s collection, which featured heavily on Tamara de Lempicka’s works. According to the Rolling Stone, Tamara’s works is a visual motif for Florence Welch.


Singer, Madonna is a collector of de Lempicka’s art and has featured some of her paintings in her music videos as well as also being a creative muse for Louis Vuitton 2009 campaign, which drew inspiration from the famous artist.
Ms Lempicka is one of the foremost artists synonymous with the Art Deco movement, which in essence was a cultural phenomenon and many years later her works have served as a source of inspiration for notable members of society. She is what you call a True Artist, as Salvador Dali once said: “A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires”.
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