Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

Sonia Delauney at Musee Art Modern, Paris

Sonia Delauney in Paris  

Sonia Delaunay, summerdress 2. Foto Henning Høholt

Sonia Delaunay, vest, foto Henning Høholt

PARIS/FRANCE: A very large exposition of the Ukranian artist and designer Sonia Delaunay is also very actual right now at Musee des Arts Modern, across the street from Palais Galliera.

By Mrs Delaunay it is the colours and her colourfull – happy pictures, paintings, aquarells, designs for patterns, carpets, and used for ballet costumes that draws the attention and a very large audience, as we noticed during our visit sunday 28. December.

by Henning Høholt.

She must have had a happy life working with all these fresh colours and combinations, where the combination ideas never seemed to stop her creativity. Many of the colourful costume and fashion studies gives an inspiration all the way, and the audience leave the exposition with a happy smile in their face.

For this, the first major Sonia Delaunay retrospective in Paris since 1967, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is bringing together three remarkably recreated environments and over 400 works: paintings, wall decorations, gouaches, prints, fashion items and textiles.



Sonia Delaunay, oil painting, foto Henning Høholt

Sonia Delaunay, folcloristic winter dress, foto Henning Høholt

Tracing the artist’s evolution since the beginning of the 20th century to the late 1970s, this monographic exhibition highlights her work in the applied arts, her distinctive place in Europe’s avant-garde movements and her major role as a pioneering abstractionist.

Jacket by Sonia Delaunay, foto Henning Høholt

A generously documented chronology illustrates the richness and singularity of an oeuvre marked by an ongoing dialogue between the arts.

One feature that stands out overall is a personal approach to colour that harks back to Sonia Delaunay‘s childhood in Russia and her art study years in Germany.


While Robert Delaunay was busy conceptualising abstraction as a universal language, Sonia was testing it out in painting, posters, garments, bookbinding and household items, and collaborating with poet Blaise Cendrars on the artist’s book Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of Little Jehanne of France.

Her Spanish and Portuguese years during the First World War saw her first ventures into theatre and, before her return to Paris in the 1920s, commercial fashion design in Madrid.

Assemble for summer, Sonia Delaunay. Foto Henning Høholt


The following decade brought a pared-down abstraction in the international style that harmonised with the architecture of the time, as in the big mural decorations for the Air Transport Pavilion at the International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Modern Life, on show here for the first time since 1937.

Her role as a “go-between” for the pioneers of abstraction and the postwar generation is pointed up through her contributions to the Salons des Réalités Nouvelles, her involvement in various architecture projects and her exhibitions at the Denise René gallery in Paris: after the war her painting underwent a profound renewal, culminating in the late 1960s in an intensely poetic form of abstraction.


Her formal and technical gifts found expression in monumental paintings, mosaics, carpets and tapestries, and her late work was marked by the albums of etchings she produced for Editions Artcurial.

Coat, hats, carpet and aquarels at the Sonia Delaunay exposition at Musee d´Art Moderne, Paris. Foto Henning Høholt

Also including recreations of groups and arrangements of her work, together with photos and films of the period, the exhibition emphasises the paradox of an oeuvre which, while very much of its time — from the Belle Epoque to the 1970s – remains ageless in its unceasing formal explorations and its quest for a synthesis of all the arts.

Director : Fabrice Hergott
Curator : Anne Montfort et Cécile Godefroy


The exhibition will be on show at Tate Modern in London between 15 April and 9 August 2015.

A generously illustrated catalogue of 256 pages will be published by Paris Musées to mark the exhibition



Decolletage of materials by Sonia Delaunay, foto Henning Høholt at Musee d Art Moderne, Paris 2014

Speak with #expoSoniadelaunay
Exhibition realized with the exceptional help ofBnF and  Centre Pompidou

With the generous backing of:


Fondation total     Hermes          UGGC           Brochier Soieries 1890


Musee d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, situated at Palais Tokyo

Musee d´Art modern de la ville Paris was Constructed for the International Exhibition of Arts and Technology of 1937 and inaugurated in 1961, the museum exhibits over 8000 different works of art by contemporary masters of Fauvism, Cubism and Post-Cubism as well as Surrealism and New Realism.

Sonia Delaunay, wall poster, foto Henning Høholt

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