From the 1960s onwards, Ukrainian artist Sonia Delaunay has been recognised as one of the preeminent artists of the twentieth century, revered not only for her paintings, but also for her contribution to fashion and textile design.
Delaunay and her artist husband Robert were pioneers of the artistic movement of Orphism. Originating from 1911, Orphism was conceived as a reinterpretation of Cubism, and focused on vivid colours and abstract shapes. Delaunay’s work can be characterised by bold and colourful series of irregular shapes, which often pose a resemblance to torn sheets of paper.
Following the Delaunays’ early success in the 1910s, Sonia embarked on a remarkably diverse career. She was a talented seamstress and began designing costumes and sets for film productions in the 1930s. In 1964, Delaunay became the first living female artist to star in a retrospective at the Louvre, Paris, and in 1975 she was appointed an officer of the French Legion of Honour, four years before her death. In 2015, Delaunay’s legacy was celebrated in a retrospective exhibition at Tate Modern.