Sonia Delaunay-Terk was an innovator, inventor, fabricator and an artificer; well known for her signature style of geometrization of forms and vibrant melody of colors. Born in Ukraine, she moved to Paris in 1905 at the age of 20 after reading a book by an art critic, Julius Meier-Graefe, who had promoted the creative city as a centre of true art. Her early influences were Van Gogh and Gauguin.
Delaunay took up art courses in Paris but left after feeling confused and discouraged by her teachers’ teachings. While trying to find her own art, she attended the controversial Fauve’s first exhibition and was infatuated by the works she saw. Soon after, with the influences of Fauvism artists like Matisse and Derain, she started combining striking bold colors of red and yellow, blue and green with dark outlining of forms in her paintings. This influence was clearly evident in her work named ‘Finish Girl’ [Ill1] which was created in 1907
In 1908, Delaunay-Terk married a German homosexual art gallery owner, Wilhelm Uhde. It was a marriage based on amity and a passion for the arts. The marriage of convenience was assumed by historians that it was arranged so as to avoid Delaunay-Terk from returning to Russia where her uncle expected to marry her off, and to escape from her parents’ disapproval on her artistic career. Sonia benefitted from Uhde’s connections as she gained entrance into the art world through exhibitions at Uhde's gallery in return of masking his homosexuality through his public marriage to her.
“The new art will really begin when we understand that color has an existence of its own, that is infinite combinations have a poetry and a poetic idiom for more expressive than anything else that has ever existed.” [Sonia Delaunay, http://susanlazear.blogspot.com/2008/11/color-quote-game-]
Paris has not only contributed to the discovery of Delaunay-Terk’s style of art, it was also where she found the love of her life, Robert Delaunay. She married the...
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