Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Sonia Delaunay and Clothing: Geometry Is In Fashion

Sonia Delaunay, Rythme, 1938, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris

20th century

Sonia Delaunay and Clothing: Geometry Is In Fashion

Sonia Delaunay was a busy woman.  She was an officer of the French Legion of Honor, a wife of a famous painter (that’s already tough) and an artist herself. On top of that she was a fashion designer! Her endeavours were appreciated: she became the first living woman to have a retrospective exhibition in the Louvre. Most of the people would associate this type of works with her:

Sonia Delaunay, Rythme, 1938, oil on canvas, 182 x 149 cm, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris

Sonia Delaunay, Rythme, 1938, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris

Cofounded by Sonia with her husband and other artists, Orphism or Orphic Cubism, focused on pure abstraction and bright colors. But Sonia was also a fashion designer.

Sonia Delaunay, Swimsuits, 1928

Sonia Delaunay, Swimsuits, 1928


In a lecture she gave in 1927 at the Sorbonne she openly condemned the previous fashion: “at the present time, fashion is passing through a critical stage which corresponds to a period of revolution. Some time before the first world war it began to free itself from academic couture: it got rid of the corset, the high collar, all those elements of women’s dress demanded by the aesthetic of fashion but which were contrary to hygiene and the freedom of movement.” In return, she offered her own vision of new clothing for new women.

Sonia Delaunay, Dresses, 1928

Sonia Delaunay, Dresses, 1923

Her husband said about her: “Until now, fabrics were dealt with the same way as wallpaper, by the kilometre, with no conception of their future use – or at best by chance. That was up to the dress designer…(…) She gives her conception a perfect creative harmony, by thinking about all the transitions between the ready-made fabric and the final garment.”

Sonia Delaunay, Dresses, 1928

Sonia Delaunay, Dresses, 1925


Sonia complained in one of the letters in 1968: “All [my] works were made for women, and all were constructed in relation to the body. They were not copies of paintings transposed on to women’s bodies, as one couturer has done with Mondrian and Pop Art […] I find all that completely ridiculous. It’s a promotional medium, but it isn’t a basis for either development or construction: it’s a circus.”

Sonia Delaunay and two friends in Robert Delaunay’s studio, rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 1924Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris

Sonia Delaunay and two friends in Robert Delaunay’s studio, rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 1924, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris

Chris Dercon, the director of Tate Modern asserted: “Sonia Delaunay has been less recognised for her contribution to the history of modern art and abstraction than she deserves, marginalised by an account of the history of art that has prioritised male artists and, at times, positioned her work as decorative.”

Find out more:

     


Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in 20th century

  • Chateau Noir by Paul Cezanne Chateau Noir by Paul Cezanne

    Painting of the Week

    Painting of the Week: Chateau Noir by Paul Cézanne

    By

    Today is Paul Cézanne’s birthday (he was born on January 19, 1839), so this Painting of the Week is dedicated to him. It is his landscape Chateau Noir, 1900/1904, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Chateau Noir is one of several paintings Cézanne...

  • 20th century

    Picasso Damaged at Tate Modern

    By

    On the 28th of December 2019, a man from the public marred the Picasso painting, Bust of a Woman. The painting is on a long-term loan from a private collector and it has since been removed from public view for restoration. What is this painting about?...

  • Yves Klein, Anthropometry of the Blue Period (ANT 82), 1960. Artwork © Yves Klein, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, 2017 Yves Klein, Anthropometry of the Blue Period (ANT 82), 1960. Artwork © Yves Klein, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, 2017

    20th century

    January Blues. Blue in Art

    By

    The January Blues, a well-known mood; festivities have come to an end and the winter is starting to feel gloomy. Therefore, to alleviate the melancholy, here is a trio of famous Blues from 20th-century art history. The Blue Nudes by Matisse These lithographs are “cut-outs” by the...

  • 20th century

    Afro-American Artists Arm in Arm: Charles White and Kerry J. Marshall

    By

    Last month the auction house Sotheby’s sold Kerry James Marshall’s painting Vignette 19 for $16 million. That’s a lot of money for a work by a living artist. But last year the same artist did even better. In May 2018, hip-hop producer and rapper P. Diddy bought...

  • 20th century

    Welcoming the Twenties with Tamara de Lempicka

    By

    Today I am taking you to a New Year’s Eve party. This year, like every year, we hope that the year coming will be better. But hearing that the twenties are coming somehow the picture of the 1920s comes to our imagination, with glamorous parties, jazz...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy