Sunday, February 24, 2008

Guevrekian's Disco Ball



The artist Gabriel Guevrekian's garden for the 1925 Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, from which the 'Art Deco' design movement takes its name, was one of many temporary show gardens installed along the streets of Paris just for the event. It uses the ubiquitous Art Deco form of an acute triangle, repeated in a composition that reflects the cubist tendencies in the art world at the time.

I enjoy this garden because it is such a synthesis of old and new; the flower planting is essentially just a remodeled parterre, and has more in common with Victorian planting schemes than with Le Corbusier's modernist approach to landscape, on display just down the street.

The mirrored 'disco' ball did, in fact, rotate...it was highlighted by spotlights at night and water streamed onto it from the matching silver statuette behind, adding splash and spray to the effect. It seems a bit gauche now, but for its time it was a theatrical display of mechanical and electrical technology, brought to life in the garden.

One of the neglected Art Deco gardens I'll be discussing in my talk next Wednesday.

4 comments:

kate smudges said...

The mirrored disco ball adds to the garden and was certainly ahead of its time. I like the fence as well as the stark triangular beds. I could have happily lived in the 1920s though ... it was a fascinating time in so many areas.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I love, love, love Art Deco! It was such a fun movement, as that "Disco ball" shows. Looking forward to seeing more Deco gardens.

Jim/ArtofGardening.org said...

I like the fence too. Would love to have seen the fountain/disco ball combo in operation.

Mad Man Bamboo said...

Art deco, a great architectural movement and a disco ball, sounds like a garden where great parties were had? Is that the case or was this a more serene garden setting?

Sean

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