Sonja Delaunay


Sonia Delaunay 1885 – 1979

Painter, Textile Designer, Fashion and Costume Designer was a multi-disciplinary abstract artist and key figure in the Parisian avant-garde. She was a Ukrainian-born ,French artist, who spent most of her working life in Paris. She was the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in 1964, and in 1975 was named an officer of the French Legion of Honor.

Delaunay traveled extensively throughout her life, each location influencing her work. She grew up in St. Petersburg, studied drawing in Germany, and in 1905 moved to Paris, where she was influenced by the Post-Impressionists and the Fauvists. She married the artist Robert Delaunay in 1910 and the two were to become one of the art world's most important partnerships. They co-founded Orphism, a variation of Cubist art composed of abstract forms of vibrant color. Orphism inspired artists such as Paul Klee to explore the effect of non-objective colored shapes. Later, proponents of the Op art movement, such as Bridget Riley, used color and shape to create optically-charged movement and vibration in their works that have connections to Delaunay’s explorations. Kinetic movement artists, such as Alexander Calder, continued this investigation in the third dimension in their sculptural constructions as well. Delaunay's textile designs extended the range of her influence into fashion, home decor and the theater.


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