Sonia Delaunay, Mother of Abstract Art, Gets a Well-Deserved Retrospective

In 1964 at the Louvre in Paris, Sonia Delaunay became the first female artist to be granted a retrospective during her lifetime. Now, just over 50 years later, another retrospective has just opened at the Tate Modern in London. It examines the full breadth of the avant-gardist’s output, as well as her enormous influence on the development of the male-dominated arena of early 20th-century art.

As a cofounder (along with her husband, Robert Delaunay) of the Orphism movement, which introduced vivid geometries of color into the collective practice of abstract art, the Russian-French artist acted as the nexus between a variety of disciplines, particularly painting and textile design.

The exhibition samples Delaunay’s entire 60-year oeuvre, including her large-scale paintings and clothing, as well as her friendships and collaborations with poets, choreographers, and manufacturers ranging from the Ballets Russes and the Bauhaus Ballet to the furrier Jacques Heim and Liberty of London.

Sonia Delaunay, April 15 – August 9, 2015, Tate Modern, London

A ‘simultaneous’ dress by Sonia Delaunay next to a Citroen B12, the first car she designed (1925)

Beach set by Sonia Delaunay (ca 1928)

Sonia Delaunay (1920s)

Sleeping Girl, Sonia Delaunay (1907)

A costume by Sonia Delaunay for the ballet Cleopatra (1918)

Yellow Nude, Sonia Delaunay (1908)

Model in a swimsuit by Sonia Delaunay (1929)

Sonia Delaunay’s ‘simultaneous’ dress and car on the cover of British Vogue (1925)

Rythme Coloré, Sonia Delaunay (1946)

Sonia Delaunay robe worn by actor Jacques Catelain in the film Le Vertige (1927)

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