A handsome, affordable introduction to the modernist polymath who charted the rhythms of color across textiles, illustration, painting and more
Sonia Delaunay was a true pioneer of modernist abstraction; breaking with the figurative vocabulary that subordinated color to subject matter, she placed dynamic color interaction at the core of her vision, whether expressed through painting, book illustration or costume and textile design. Drawing inspiration from both traditional Russian crafts and the modern frenetic metropolis, Delaunay’s work reflects the drastic changes ushered in by industrialization. Through her polyvalent practice, Delaunay helped construct the new modern woman that she herself embodied: equal parts avant-gardist, creative entrepreneur and businesswoman.
This richly illustrated catalog showcases the range of Delaunay’s work as it unfolded over 60 years, from abstract paintings and works on paper to textile design, garments, fashion photography, books and carpets—even a brightly colored sports car.
Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Sonia Delaunay (1885–1979) migrated to Paris in 1906 and became a key figure in the city’s avant-garde scene. During these early years, her paintings underwent a formal shift influenced by the vivid colors of Fauvism. She soon met her husband, fellow artist Robert Delaunay, and the couple pioneered a fusion of Cubism and Neo-Impressionism that they termed Simultanism, which denotes abstract painting that uses color in a manner comparable to the use of sound and rhythm in music. In 1964, Delaunay became the first living woman artist to have a retrospective at the Louvre.