Rythme coloré, 1959
Signed and dated lower centre 'Sonia Delaunay 1959'
Gouache on paper
27 1/2 x 19 3/4 in, 70 x 50 cm
Sonia Delaunay’s art transcended the boundaries between fine and applied arts. Refusing to be categorised within the historically feminine notion of ‘craft’ art, Delaunay paved the way for many female...
Sonia Delaunay’s art transcended the boundaries between fine and applied arts. Refusing to be categorised within the historically feminine notion of ‘craft’ art, Delaunay paved the way for many female artists. Apart from painting she experimented with tapestry, fashion, costumes for theatre and films and set design. Considered an integral part of the Parisian avant-garde in the early 20th century - alongside her husband the French painter Robert Delaunay - Delaunay developed the artistic movements Orphism and Simultanism.
In 1912-13 the art critic, Guillame Apollinaire, first used the term Orphism to distinguish the Delaunays’ work from cubism generally. Deriving from the Greek poet and musician Orpheus, Apollinaire used the name to express the musicality and harmony of the Delaunays’ colour compositions. Although Apollinaire was a friend and collaborator of Delaunay, Orphism was not a term they used, preferring to define their work as Simultanism. The idea of Simultanism was born from Michel Eugène Chevreul’s book De la loi du contraste simultanée des couleurs. It used the notion that when complementary tones are together they ‘simultaneously’ enhance each other’s intensity.
Rythme coloré is characteristic of Delaunay’s later paintings which had greater formal freedom in their rhythmic patchwork of abstract, bright forms. The strong primary and secondary colours vibrate off each other giving the work an emotional vitality. Delaunay created a large series of ‘Rythme coloré’ throughout her career. These works stand as a testament to her continual experimentation into the language of colour and ‘pure’ painting.
In 1959, the year this work was created, the Delaunays had their first retrospective in a French museum (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon). This led to Sonia Delaunay receiving international recognition and she became the first living female artist to exhibit at the Louvre (1964). 114 works by herself and her husband were donated to the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris and she was awarded the French Legion of Honour (1975). Since her death in 1979, Sonia Delaunay has been the subject of major retrospectives around the world including Tate Modern in 2015, which was the first of its kind in the UK.
Galerie Bernstein, Oslo
Galerie Denise René Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf
Galleria Il Capricorno, Venice (until the end of the 1970s)
Galleria Martano, Turin
Private Collection, Italy (acquired from the above in 1985)
This work is registered in the archives of Pracusa Artisticas SA under no. F. 869 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity (no. SD 13 630 869) signed by Jean Louis Delaunay and Richard Riss and dated 7 March 2018. This work is also accompanied by an original photograph signed by Hans Mayer of the Galerie Denise René Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf and by Liliana De Matteis of the Galleria Martano, Turin