Colors.. Yes! Colors and the more brilliant ones, juxtaposed to create movement, as in Sonia Delaunay’s designs at the new show “Color moves: Art and Fashion” by Sonia Delaunay at the Cooper-Hewitt museum. In order to support her family, Russian born Sonia Delaunay who lived in Paris with her husband Robert Delaunay and son from a previous marriage, started creating patterns for textile both for fashion and interior design within her own company Atelier Simultané and Maison Delaunay. It was in the 20’s but her delicate or geometrical motives, her “ronds dans l’eau”, are incredibly modern. She found her inspiration in the bright lights of the big city (concentric circles of car lights, halos of street lights..) and movement. It is the pattern of a coat just seen on the back of a New Yorker in a nearby restaurant, the spotted inspiration of the last Marc Jacobs show, the worn out kinetic assemblage “a la Vasarely”. From a delicate motive painted in watercolors (Sonia Delaunay was a fan of the Sennelier art shop on the Left Bank of Paris) were declined in swatches of different fabrics. Sonia Delaunay in her research on colors had found the right recipes to juxtapose a red and a green adding a purple or a navy blue with each nuance enhancing each other.
Sonia Delaunay, before it was even invented, had created a lifestyle brand. Ralph Lauren declines his idea of American spirit through his fashion line and his Home collection, Delaunay had transformed her polychrome world into a universe from A to Z from naive carpets to delicate silk scarves.
The show is really inspiring allowing you to discover the world of an artist from a toally different perspective. Switching from painting to design Sonia Delaunay did not loose her soul , far from it.
The exhibition brings together exceptional examples of designs, textiles, garments and photographs from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, the Musée de l’Impression sur Étoffes de Mulhouse, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and private collections around Europe and the United States.
Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay
On view: March 18–June 5, 2011
2 East 91st Street New York NY 10128 Telephone 212.849.8400 Fax 212.849.8401