Delaunay, Sonia

Sonia Delaunay, born in 1885 and died in 1979, is known for her search for pure color in painting, as well as for her costumes, sets and clothes. Read the biography

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Born near Odessa in 1885, Sonia Delaunay (from her birth name Sophie Stern) learned to draw as a child, drawing inspiration from her many travels. She briefly studied art in Karlsruhe, Germany, before moving to Paris in 1905, where she discovered the works ofHenri Matisse, André Derain and Georges Rouault at the Salon d'Automne. She presented her first exhibition in 1908 and met many artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Kees Van Dongen or Robert Delaunaywith whom she married in 1910 and founded the Orphist movement. During this period, Sonia Delaunay had already begun work on her tapestry-broderies, and in 1911 produced her first abstract work in textiles. She was as interested in fashion, with her "simultaneous dresses" project, as in decoration and illustration. Her activity in the fashion field became particularly important in the 20s, a period during which she created a huge number of garments, as well as costumes for theater and cinema. She returned to painting for the 1937 Universal Exhibition, creating large-scale murals. After her husband's death, she teamed up with Jean Arp and Alberto Magnelli to create collective works, and then continues to explore various artistic techniques, whether painting (Colorful rhythms), stained glass, mosaics and tapestries. These explorations confirmed the richness and modernity of her work. In 1946, she founded the Salon des réalités nouvelles to promote abstraction. She died in Paris on December 5, 1979.