• Sonia Delaunay

  • Art that meets fashion.

Sonia Delaunay

Art that meets fashion.

Sonia Delaunay - Art that meets fashion

Sonia Delaunay

Art meets fashion

SONIA TERK DELAUNAY (Hradyzk 1885 - Paris 1979)
La fantasia nell’eleganza.

The review that we present is dedicated to the fashion creations of Sonia Delaunay , a nonconformist and multifaceted artist who revolutionized the history of art, fashion and costume of the last century.

On display 27 lithographs, made with the pochoir technique, taken from the silohuettes made by Sonia Delaunay between 1919 and 1928 in her Atelier Simultané in Paris and published in the artist's book "Tableaux vivants" by the publisher and gallery owner Jacques Damase.

Sonia felt the constant need to bring art into any aspect of daily life. An all-round artist, difficult to categorize, whose work goes far beyond simple painting. His research on colors and shapes was manifested in graphics, decoration, furniture and, above all, in fashion. “ There are no differences between my painting and my, so-called, decorative works. Minor art must never be considered an art of frustration but a free expansion, a conquest of new spaces. It is the application of research itself ”. (1)

Strongly inspired by Orphic Cubism, Sonia's simultaneous dresses are made up of simple shapes and a straight cut to bring out the color, the undisputed protagonist of her creations.

In his clothes, abstract art becomes something concrete and absolutely understandable to a wider and heterogeneous public.

In 1911 the artist created a small blanket for his son with his own hands: a cubist-style patchwork , made with scraps of fabrics of different colors and materials. Around those years he began making upholstery, books, hats, umbrellas and even car interiors.

Sonia soon understood that her painting could also be applied to clothing. It will be she herself, in 1913, to wear her clothes at the Bal Bullier , a Parisian ballroom that she and her husband Robert frequented regularly, a symbolic place, a real meeting and comparison point between artists and poets of the time .
In 1923 a silk manufacturer from Lyon commissioned fifty drawings from her and the following year she opened the Atelier Simultané , on Boulevard Malesherbes . The fabrics that make up the clothes are characterized by lively textures depicting compositions of rectangles, circles, regular and irregular geometric figures, lines and splashes of color. The linear and uncut shape of the 1920s dress was perfect for this type of silohuettes : it did not interrupt the design and allowed the colors to create the desired dynamic effects on moving bodies.

The images on display testify to the mood of a free and passionate artist, and at the same time highlight the conscious research on the motif, studied in its innumerable variations of tone, rhythm, vibration and form. Fabrics and dresses all obey the same principle: the balance of volume and color. Sonia Delaunay loved to define color "the skin of this world of ours" a world that she herself tried to improve, "restoring happiness", as Damase writes: "The twentieth century linked the world to the conventions and greyness it imposed, we witnessed to the birth of generations that almost from the cradle wore a darker mourning than that of a horse in a hearse. What mysterious fear forced the world to deprive itself of the color, the forbidden fruit, the taboo, from which Sonia Delaunay was the first to free us? ". (2)

His work undoubtedly contributed to the evolution of clothing and taste in modern furniture and the chromatic revolution that ensued is still a source of inspiration for many stylists today. He collaborated with Chanel, Heim, Lanvin and dressed famous actresses such as Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson.

"Sonia Delaunay does not consider familiar things, the things of life, inferior as content to the paintings that made her known ... I still want to thank her for having abolished this prejudice, for loving life, and for giving us masterpieces that make our gestures more beautiful. newspapers ”, (3) this is how René Crevel summarizes his entire artistic career.

Sonia Delaunay has redefined the very concept of the “modern woman”, attempting to reverse gender separation in a world dominated by men. Hers is the story of a strong and exuberant woman who has seen art in everything and who has been able to overcome family and financial crises and two world wars, never giving up and instead continuing to reinvent herself, rising from her failures like the phoenix. to color his world (and that of others) with the colors of his soul.

Sonia Terk (later Delaunay) was born in 1885 in Ukraine, she initially studied in St. Petersburg but in 1906 she moved to Paris, where she began to paint influenced by Paul Gaugin, Vincent Van Gogh and the Fauves . In 1909 he met Robert Delaunay and immediately became a great love. They married the following year, giving life to a real artistic partnership, in a Paris in full swing. They theorize the pictorial movement of Orphic Cubism or Orphism, which saw color as the protagonist of their artistic research; they work on complementary colors, which when combined with each other illuminate each other giving the sensation of movement and the possibility of representing what was called "the third dimension" that is time. At the outbreak of the First World War, Sonia and Robert are on vacation in Spain. They decide not to return to Paris, but to stay on the Iberian Peninsula, using isolation to focus on their work. Sonia refuses to limit herself to painting, taking orphism beyond the confines of the canvas. In 1917 he will perform, for Sergei Diaghilev, the wonderful costumes for Russian ballets, thus giving shape to his great passion for fabrics. In Madrid, in this same period, he begins to dress the Spanish high society. Upon returning to Paris he opens his Atelier Simultané , a laboratory where his art expands to fabrics, tapestries, interior design and clothing in perfect creative harmony. A series of personal and economic events, especially following the crisis of '29, will lead her to close the atelier but she will continue to devote herself to fashion even afterwards.
In 1941 her husband Robert died. Within a few years the creative genius of Sonia Dealunay was fully recognized: she was the first woman to whom a retrospective was dedicated at the Louvre in 1964 and to be decorated with the French Legion of Honor in 1975. She died in Paris in 1979, after having received awards and gratifications in contemporary art museums around the world and having influenced generations of stylists.

(1) (2) (3) Jacques Damase, Guillame Apollinaire and Blaise Cendras, “Tableaux vivants”, Daniel Jacomet of Paris, 1969.

-Jacques Damase, Guillame Apollinaire and Blaise Cendras, “Tableaux vivants”, Daniel Jacomet of Paris, 1969.
-Jacques Damase, Sonia Delaunay 1925. Robes et gouaches simultanées. L'art et le corps, rythmes - couleurs en mouvement, 1974.
-Marina Bairrao, Ruivo and Matteo Bianchi, Sonia Delaunay. Atelier Simultané 1923 -1934, Pages of Art, 2006.

Sono da considerarsi stampe originali (silografia, bulino, puntasecca, acquaforte, acquatinta, litografia, serigrafia, ecc.) le prove tirate in nero e a colori da una o più lastre concepite dall’artista stesso, qualunque sia la tecnica impiegata per realizzarle. Nel XX secolo molte delle tecniche tradizionali hanno subito variazioni dovute al perfezionamento della tecnologia e al desiderio degli artisti di sperimentare nuove forme espressive, per cui nelle stampe originali incontriamo tecniche con base fotografica o eliografica, fino a elaborazioni di immagini eseguite con l’ausilio del computer. Queste particolarità vengono indicate nelle schede tecniche dell’opera. Le stampe giapponesi non seguono queste regole: l’artista eseguiva un disegno su carta molto sottile, espressamente per l’incisione questo veniva incollato al rovescio sulla lastra che poi veniva incisa dallo hori-cho (silografo), sotto il controllo dell’artista. Veniva incisa una lastra per ogni colore. Lo stato è una modifica volontaria alla lastra, mentre la variante è una modifica accidentale alla lastra o si riferisce alla qualità o alla carta. La qualità o bellezza dell’impressione è indipendente dallo stato, dalla conservazione, dalla rarità, dal soggetto e dall’autore (una prova tarda di ultimo stato, se stampata con cura, può essere di alta qualità; e si intende che la qualità è alta o bassa nell’ambito della medesima tiratura). Gli aggettivi d’uso internazionale per definire la qualità sono, in ordine decrescente: superba, splendida, magnifica, bellissima, bella, discreta, mediocre, stanca e povera. Per le stampe moderne e contemporanee, quando non si tratti di prove di stampa o di tirature non documentate ma di esemplari appartenenti ad una tiratura, in cui il primo esemplare e l’ultimo non hanno differenze di qualità, queste vengono indicata con il termine “perfetto esemplare”. Per le stampe giapponesi la qualità del colore viene indicata coi seguenti aggettivi in ordine decrescente: brillante, ottimo, buono, discreto, pallido. Si menziona sempre l’esistenza o meno della firma. Si ricorda, tuttavia, che questa, non è di nessuna utilità né nella certificazione dell’autenticità né nell’attribuzione. Dunque l’assegnazione di una stampa ad un autore, diversamente di quella di un disegno o di un quadro, venendo impressa in più esemplari può venire considerata, opera pubblicata e perciò di autore certo e documentato. Per le stampe antiche e giapponesi è difficile parlare di tiratura poiché esse venivano generalmente stampate a seconda della richiesta. Oltre alle due grandi divisioni, coeve e tarde, le stampe venivano tirate in tempi diversi a seconda della domanda. Per edizione corrente si intende una tiratura ampia, alle volte anche oltre il migliaio di copie, voluta dall’autore e dall’editore, spesso come tavola fuori testo di libri o riviste d’arte. Non sono da considerarsi artisticamente opere minori, molte hanno avuto un’edizione parallela di lusso. La rarità è dovuta o alle poche impressioni eseguite, o alla legge della domanda-offerta e ancora la qualità della conservazione viene indicata con le seguenti frasi in ordine decrescente: in eccezionale stato di conservazione, in perfetto stato di conservazione (ad eccezione di...), in buono stato di conservazione (ad eccezione di...). I margini vengono così classificati: sottilissimo fino a 1 mm, sottile da 1 a 2 mm, piccolo da 2 a 4 mm.buono da 4 a 15 mm, ampio oltre i 15 mm, intonso è un foglio che conserva le misure in cui è stato fabbricato o stampato, con editoriale si intende un foglio che è stato messo in commercio senza margini o con una precisa dimensione di carta scelta dall’artista di concerto con l’editore. Le misure sono tutte in millimetri, altezza per base, si riferiscono per le stampe in cavo (acquaforti, bulini,...) all’impronta del rame, per le silografie alla linea marginale e, in difetto di queste, al foglio, per le litografie e serigrafie si riferiscono all’immagine e non al foglio. Talvolta i cataloghi ragionati riportano misure leggermente diverse, ciò può dipendere dai criteri di misurazione o dall’elasticità della carta che, a seconda della temperatura/umidità degli ambienti in cui è stata conservata o dalla pressione del torchio, si restringe o si allarga. L’autenticità delle stampe originali e la loro corrispondenza alle caratteristiche descritte nella nostra “dichiarazione di autenticità” verrà rilasciata all’acquisto di ogni opera.