One of the pioneers of abstraction and a central figure of the Paris avant-garde, Sonia Delaunay’s career spanned much of the twentieth century. The dynamic forms and vibrant colour of her paintings captured the spirit of modernity, celebrating technology, urban life, travel and dance crazes such as the tango. Yet from a twenty-first century perspective, perhaps the most modern aspect of her world was her willingness to go beyond the traditional confine of fine art to embrace fashion textiles, costume and set design, interior decoration, architecture and advertising. An adept businesswoman, she opened her own fashion house ans established her name as a brand, while her collaborations with literary figures such as Blaise Cendars produced a unique fusion of poetry and art.
Her marriage to artiste Robert Delaunay was a remarkable creative partnership, and they jointly developed a distinctive approach called simultanism. Their work was often discussed ans exhibited together, and for a number of years after Robert’s early death in 1941, Sonia took the responsibility to protect and promote his work rather than her own. Nonetheless she continued to paint and design, producing innovative and experimental art in a variety of media into the late 1970s.
The exhibition presented at the Tate Modern is the first UK retrospective to explore the breadth of Sonia Delaunay’s career, providing an opportunity to discover one of the most versatile and inspiring artists of her time.