Sunday, February 5, 2017

Q148 – Sonia Delaunay – New Quilt

Good Day,

Today Andy and I would like to present to you our 148th quilt, Sonia Delaunay.

Sonia Delaunay
JS AB - 2016
Sofia “Sarah” Illinitchna Stern aka Sonia Delaunay, a multi-disciplinary abstract artist and key figure in the Parisian avant-garde was born on November 14, 1885, in Grahizhsk, Ukraine. As a child, she went to live with and was adopted by her wealthy uncle Henri Terk and his wife, Anna in St. Petersburg, Russia. In St. Petersburg, she received a privileged and cultured upbringing but her childhood memories of the Ukraine and the memories of ‘pure’ color and the bright costumes of peasant weddings did manage to maintain a reference point for her future career as an artist and textile designer.

Her education in drawing continued in Karlsruhe, Germany. At the age of 20 Delaunay moved to Paris and enrolled at the Académie de La Palette where she was influenced by the Post-Impressionists and the Fauvists.

Sonia began her career as an abstract artist when in about 1911 she began making a blanket (a quilt) for her son composed of bits of fabric like those ones seen in the homes of Russian peasants. When it was finished, "the arrangement of the pieces of materials seemed to me to evoke cubist conceptions and we then tried to apply the same process to other objects and paintings.”

Sonia Delaunay spent most of her working life in Paris and, with her husband Robert Delaunay and others, cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colors and geometric shapes. Simultanism or “simultané” is an element of Orphism practiced by the Delaunays. The name comes from the work of French scientist Michel Eugène Cheureul who identified the phenomenon of ‘simultaneous contrast’, in which colors look different depending on the colors around them.

Her fashion and design work extended to costume and sets which she created for both theater and film, including work on Diaghelew’s ‘Ballet Russes’ around 1918. In 1924 she opened her own company and became well-known for her innovative designs in dresses and handbags.

Her first solo artistic exhibition was held in 1908 at the Montparnasse Gallery in Paris. Having exhibited her work in and at many venues and locations, Sonia Delaunay was the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in 1964. In 1975 she was named an officer of the French Legion of Honor, one of the highest decorations in France. That same year she painted the poster for the International Women’s Year of UNESCO. Her painting, “Coccinelle” was featured on a joint issue of British and French postage stamps in 2004. Her recognition as an artist was such that France’s President George Pompidou, on an official visit to the United States, brought one of Sonia Delaunay’s paintings as a gift from the French government.

Sonia believed that “Color is the skin of the world. Color was the hue of number. One who knows how to appreciate color relationships, the influence of cone color to another, their contrasts and dissonances, is promised an infinitely diverse imagery.

Sonia Delaunay passed away in Paris on December 5, 1979.

Our quilt Sonia Delaunay is the technique of piecing and creating a composite mosaic of 100% cotton fabrics of solid colors.

The dimensions of our new quilt are 18” wide by 30” long. It is a pieced quilt in the form of a mosaic using squares and rectangles. Each square, and each square created by triangles are 0.8-inch square. We have attempted to capture the essence, strength, and spirit of Sonia Delaunay’s style and effort.

Our design is a compilation (albeit mash-up) of her works from one of the Vogue (left) magazine covers and her 1925 painting Simultaneous Dresses (Three Women) (right).

More images –

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Jim and Andy

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