Monday, May 28, 2012

sonia delaunay

rythme colore, 1946


still photo from the film le p’tit parigot, written by paul cartoux, directed by rené le somptier, 1926

portrait de charles de rochefort, 1908

design b53, 1924

 le bal bullier, 1913

driving caps, 1924-1928

models wear delaunay's beachwear, 1928

design 1044

coat made for gloria swanson, 1923-1924

sonia delaunay in paris, 1925

flamenco singer, 1916

delaunay’s designs for the ballets russes’s production of cléopâtre, 1918

sonia delaunay in her designs

baby quilt, 1911 
(for her son charles)

demaria, modèle sonia delaunay by germaine krull, 1926

carpet design

sonia delaunay (standing) in her own design with coordinating automobile (citroën), ca. 1925

sample of a 1932 delaunay pattern in silk

watercolor on paper, 1924

composition 30, ca. 1930

sonia delaunay began her career as a designer & artist. when her son was born in 1911 she made him a patchwork quilt for his crib. after she'd sewn all the pieces together it inspired her to experiment further. "when it was finished", she said, "the arrangement of the pieces of material seemed to me to evoke cubist conceptions, and we then tried to apply the same process to other objects and paintings."
abstract artist, textile designer, clothing designer, stage costumes, carpets, books - delaunay applied her art to everything including  a citroën automobile.
born in 1885 in gradizhsk, a small village in ukraine, she left her family when she was 5 years old to live a very different life with her wealthy uncle in st. petersburg. in contrast to her poor jewish labourer's lifestyle her uncle's house was filled with books, paintings & music. she was exposed to the museums & galleries of europe - her first set of paints was given to her by german impressionist max liebermann, a family friend.
after studying art in germany she moved to paris, where she met painter robert delaunay, whom she married in 1910. their son, charles, followed 2 months later. in 1913 she designed her first dress, the robe simultanée, a gown made of pink, scarlet, blue & orange sections, which she wore to dance the tango with her husband at the fashionable bal bullier.
at the outbreak of world war I the delaunays moved to spain. in madrid sonia met sergei diaghilev, the  creator of the avant-garde ballets russes. diaghilev asked sonia to design the costumes & robert to design the sets for his ballet cléopâtre.  the dress caused a sensation. the following year, 1919 sonia opened a fashion interior boutique, casa sonia, in madrid. for the next 20 years it was sonia's income alone that would keep the family afloat.
although the boutique was a success, the following year the delaunays returned to paris. their apartment in the 17th arrondissement became one of the most fashionable artists' salons. the couple hosted dadist evenings, where sonia would showcase her 'robes poèmes', colorful dresses that incorporated text from dadaist poems.
in 1925 she opened maison delaunay, the same year that the exposition des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in paris finally brought her designs to a wider audience. her shop was visited by everyone from actress gloria swanson to heiress nancy cunard.
the wall street stock market crash of 1929 put an end to her fashion business. after her husband's death in 1941 she concentrated mainly on textiles. under her label 'tissus delaunay' she sold designs all over the world.
in 1964 she became the first living female artist to be given a retrospective at the louvre in paris. in 2010 one of her portraits sold at christie's for more than £600,000.
delaunay died in 1979 at the age of 94 & was painting the day she died. "i always changed everything around me," she said. "i made my first white walls so our paintings would look better. i designed my furniture; i have done everything. i have lived my art."

1 comment:

  1. Love this post. Very well written and gives such a perfect overview of the artist's life, Brava. I adore the driving caps! Her art & textiles pieces are gorgeous. I am going to look further into her work, thanks for posting!