# 13836

DELAUNAY, Sonia (1885-1979)

Original fabric design by Sonia Delaunay for haute-couture textile supplier Robert Perrier

$12,000.00 AUD

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Circa 1942. Gouache on paper, 260 x 180 mm; numbered by the artist in pencil at upper right “167/2”; framed; accompanied by a copy of a typed document by Sonia Delaunay (circa 1972) recording her sale of a total of 1,244 gouache fabric designs to M. Robert Perrier, 26 rue Norvins, Paris, 75018, in 1942; the document authenticates these designs for M. Perrier, and records that 115 of them were lent by M. Perrier for exhibitions in Mulhouse (May, 1971) and Nancy (September, 1972).

As early as 1927, in a lecture titled The Influence of Painting on the Art of Clothes, Sonia Delaunay observed: “A movement is now influencing fashion, just as it influences interior decoration, the cinema, and all the visual arts, and it overtakes everything that is not subject to this new principle which painters have spent a century seeking; we are only at the beginning of these new colour relationships, still full of mysteries to unravel, which are at the base of a modern vision.” Damase, Jacques, Sonia Delaunay : Fashion and fabrics (London : Thames & Hudson, 2014, p. 59).

The career of Russian-born colourist Sonia Delaunay spanned seven decades, from the Belle Epoque to the 1970s. After studying in Germany, in 1905 she settled in Paris, where she would remain for most of her life. From around 1911, along with her husband, Robert Delaunay, she pioneered a particular branch of Cubism known as Simultanism (or Orphism, as it was termed by Apollinaire), which was based on the colour theory developed in the nineteenth century by Michel Eugène Chevreul (De la loi du contraste simultanée des couleurs, Paris, 1839). In this abstract style, form is subjugated to colour: the vital rhythm of a work is created by the interaction of overlapping and juxtaposed contrasting colours.

As a multi-disciplinary artist, Delaunay constantly refined her Simultanist approach, producing work up until the late 1970s in a diversity of media and across the applied arts – notably in designs for theatre and ballet, fashion, textiles and architecture – and collaborating with writers such as Blaise Cendrars and Tristan Tzara. A major figure in the European avant-garde, her distinctive abstractionist aesthetic has influenced artists from Paul Klee through to contemporary fashion designers. Sonia Delaunay was the first living female artist to be honoured with a retrospective at the Louvre (1964); more recently, a major retrospective of her work was held at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (17 October 2014 to 22 February 2015) and the Tate Modern in London (15 April to 9 August 2015).

A note on Robert Perrier: R-26 was an artistic salon regularly held at the private residence of socialites Madeleine, Marie-Jacques and Robert Perrier at 26 Rue Norvins in the Montmartre district of Paris. First convened on 1 January 1930, the salon became a meeting ground for many creative luminaries of the next eighty years, including singer Josephine Baker, architect Le Corbusier and musician Django Reinhardt … Early on, painter Sonia Delaunay, a close colleague of Robert Perrier, was most active in introducing new artists to the gatherings, aided by her husband, Robert, and son, Charles.

Provenance: the estate of art critic and publisher Jacques Damase, a close friend of the artist who promoted her work in the last 16 years of her life.