Susanne Ramharter‘s Today’s Memory
Sonia Delaunay’s birthday
Originally shared by Susanne Ramharter
Good Morning Google+ your daily story about art:
Yay! Today we get to celebrate a birthday and one of a woman artist at that! Sonia Delaunay was born on November 14th in 1885 in Gradizhsk, now in the Ukraine but at the time part of the Russian empire. Here I will use her first name to differentiate her from her husband Robert, not as a sign of disrespect or excessive familiarity because she is a woman.
Sonia met Robert Delaunay in Paris in 1909 and married him in 1910. It seems that their relationship was truly a merging of hearts and minds, reminding me a bit of the relationship between Lou Reed and Laurie Andersen that Giselle Minoli spoke about in her post here: http://goo.gl/AeB2US . Together, the two were the main ‘inventors’ of the style called Orphism that R. Harlan Smith describes so well below.
The Delaunays’ life was not an easy one. They were plagued by lack of money, WW I, a sickly child and Robert’s obsession with his art. And, as so often the case, Sonia, who not only painted was a designer as well, often had to rearrange her priorities, putting her art to the side and concentrating instead on making their lives work.
One of the few periods during their lives together when she was able to focus on her work was the period between 1914 and 1921, when they had moved to Portugal to escape the ravages of WWI. This work, the Market at Minho, painted in 1917 is one of the wonderful results of that phase.
Sonia was fascinated by both the colors of Portugal, found in their clothing, pottery, food and houses, as well as the linear architecture of the local homes. She said that „The light of Portugal was not violent, but exalted every color.” We see the result of this fascination in this painting, which has recognizable elements, yet its very element of abstraction conveys the mood and joy she must have felt much better than any realistic work ever could.
I am very pleased to report that later in life (years after Robert’s death in 1941) Sonia was able to focus on her own art and received honors and even a retrospective of her own work at the Louvre.
I hope you find joy and color in your day, and tread lightly
Image from wikipaintings here: http://goo.gl/zZQwOr
Additional Information provided by R. Harlan Smith :
Sonia Delauney 1885-1979 Ophist painter.
One might wonder at first glance what is to be said about Sonia Delauney’s art: That it is colorful. That it would certainly be the highlight of a room in terms of interior decoration, or that it is not art at all, but decoration any teenager could reproduce.
It is for sure colorful. It would certainly be a center of attraction as a decorator item, but is it Art with a capital A?
The answer is yes, it is Art. And here is why. Around 1912-13, Sonia’s husband, Robert, and a man named Michel Eugene Chevreult were experimenting with color. What they discovered is when one color is placed next to another, each color affects the other. This is accordance with Seurat’s Pointillism in which small dots of dissimilar color are blended by the eye of the observer. White and red dots, for example, will produce the illusion of pink. Sonia Delauney’s work combined colorful designs and geometry to entertain the eye in the same way.
In addition, Sonia Delauney was a co-founder of the art movement called Orphism, a stye using strong colors and geometric shapes. It is a term coined by a mutual friend of the Delauney’s, Guillaume Appollinaire, in 1912. You will notice the year is close to the advent of the Modernists and their complete break away from the current trends of Realism that were already being ravaged by the neo-Impressionists and the Expressionists. Orphism was considered an offshoot of Cubism, but it is more abstract with brighter coloring. In short, Orpheism is Cubism without the cube shapes, but with considerable more color. It is more or less a transition between Cubism and the entirely abstract. Orphism eliminates the vaguely recognizable subject matter and moves on to just form and color to communicate its own significance, sans subject, sans narrative, sans precedence. The title of an Orphic painting might lead the viewer to a concept that leads to its content, but not in every example. The viewer will always find the understanding of Abstract Art difficult if he does not give it what it is*;* an abstract idea. I, for one, do not. I prefer the beauty of reality to the abstractions of the intellect. The science of color is irrelevant to me. The sun on the clouds in the sky at particular time of day has all the relevance in the world.
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