Artist biography

Sonia Delaunay 1885-1979

School of Paris painter and designer. Sonia Terk, born in the Ukraine. Studied drawing at Karlsruhe 1903-5, then went to Paris in 1905 and studied at the Académie de la Palette, where Ozenfant and Segonzac were fellow pupils. Began in 1907 to paint Fauve pictures influenced by van Gogh and Gauguin, with intense colours. Married Wilhelm Uhde in 1909, but divorced in 1910 and married Robert Delaunay; the two artists henceforth worked in close association. Painted abstract pictures with colour rhythms and discs 1912-14, and made her first collages, book bindings and projects for posters using simultaneous contrast of colours. Lived 1915-20 in Spain and Portugal, where she began to support herself and her husband by working as decorator. After their return to Paris in 1920 was mainly active for some years as designer of fabrics and clothes in styles related to her paintings. Collaborated with her husband on several huge mural paintings for the 1937 Paris International Exhibition. Subsequently created many paintings and gouaches of lyrical abstract colour rhythms, as well as lithographs, tapestries etc., and participated in 1939 in the creation of the Réalités Nouvelles. First one-woman exhibition at the Galerie Bing, Paris, 1953. Died in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.163