Oftentimes designers speak about bringing art into everyday life; Russian-born French artist Sonia Delaunay made this central to her life's work. Known primarily as an abstract painter and "extraordinary colorist," Delaunay worked across disciplines: fashion, textiles, graphic design, interiors and fine art. On view until June 5th, the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is presenting the first major exhibition of Sonia Delaunay's work in the United States in 30 years.
Focusing on Delaunay's designs for fashion and textile and covering two major periods of creative output between the 1920's–30s, the exhibition shows more than 300 works with correlating period photographs, fashion illustrations and design work.
Design B53, 1924
Sonia Delaunay in her studio at boulevard Malesherbes, Photographed by Germaine Krull
A driving force behind Delaunay's work is the theory of "simultaneity," the sensation of movement and rhythm created by the simultaneous contrasts of certain colors.
Beginning with Delaunay's "poem dresses" of the 1910s, synthesizing word, body and movement, and moving into the Simultaneous Boutique (1925) where driving caps, bathing suits and coats from this period are displayed, the garments are "pure geometric forms in rhythmic patterns and brilliant colors."
Set of three fabric samples, Design 198, 1927
The second part of the exhibition surveys Delaunay's textile work for the Metz & Co department store in Amsterdam and includes initial sketches, process design and finished products.
On view - June 5
Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay.
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10128
Bathing Suit, 1928
Model wearing swimsuit, Photographed by Luigi Diaz for Presse Paris
Coat made for Gloria Swanson, 1923–24
Variation on Design 1355, 1934
Design 1152, 1932–33
Tissu simultané no. 186, 1927
Still photo from the film Le P'tit Parigot