Sonia Delaunay (Odessa, Ukraine, 1885 – Paris, FR, 1979).
She is a key artist figure of the Avant-garde movement between the two World Wars of the Twenty Century, prolonging her artistic activities also to the Post War era. Alongside her husband, the French painter Robert Delaunay, and other artists, she was co-founder of the Orphism movement, whose definition was founded by Guillaume Apollinaire, a non-orthodox kind of Cubism noted for stronger use of colors and movement to decompose the space of reality, running in parallel to the international researches upon the language of abstraction carried by the German Blaue Reuter founded by Marc and Kandinsky. Far from being close to Picasso and Braque Cubist lessons, Sonia and Robert Delaunay’s Simulateneism was inspired by a stronger sense of color, seen as a basic component of physical reality, as “the skin of the world“. Their personal abstract painting when emphasizing the transcendental effects of the interaction between colors, is seemingly anticipating the optical developments that will be developed more consciously by the Bauhaus movement: art critics recently claimed that she conceived of painterly forms as units of chromatic information whose vibrancy and intermingling are as material as they are optical.
Ukrainian-born, she took French citizenship, and as a living female artist, she was the first to receive a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in 1964 and in 1975 to be named an officer of the French Legion of Honor.
Since the Thirties, Sonia dedicated herself to the development of an abstract language that could easily be applied to craft, expressing a truly modern vision of a merging of all the fields of arts and design: based on the integration of furniture, fabrics, wall coverings, and clothing, forerunning her times, her practice found to the new abstract language territories of experimentation. After the survey exhibition dedicated to her by Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2015, she was part of Venice Biennale 2021, included in Il Latte dei Sogni, curated by Cecilia Alemani.