ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ukrainian/French, 1885 - 1979
Sonia Delaunay was born in the Ukraine in 1885 and raised in St. Petersburg. After studying drawing at Karlsruhe under Schmidt-Reutter she came to Paris in 1905 to be close to avant-garde circles. She studied at the Academie de la Palette, where Ozenfant and Dunoyer de Segonzac were fellow students.
Her first show was in 1908; she married Robert Delaunay in 1910. She did not exhibit her paintings again in any number until 1953. Delaunay was not regarded as a great artist, but she was important. Her work was dismissed as being too decorative; but she did not diminish painting, she elevated the decorative arts. With her husband, she developed a style, sometimes called orphism, that was a spin-off of cubism. She was part of the radical drive to purify and elevate art through abstraction. At the same time, she helped direct art toward the gently decorative, a natural development, since decoration is itself generally abstract.