Ses Peintures, Ses Objets, Ses Tissus Simultanés, Ses Modes
Library Information & Colophon
Sonia Delaunay: Ses Peintures, Ses Objets, Ses Tissus Simultanés, Ses Modes View record in Reed Digital Collections
Paris: Librairie des Arts Décoratifs, 1925
|Library Call #||
NK1450 .D453 1925 View Reed library catalog record
20 leaves of plates: col., pochoir; 57 cm
In paper folder, printed on p.  and . Four pages of text on a folded sheet. The plates bear dates from 1915-1925 centered below the image. Delaunay's signature in fascism and the plate number appear at lower right.
Contains poems by Joseph Delteil, Blaise Cendrars, Tristan Tzara and Philippe Soupalt. Preface by the painter and writer André Lhote.
Sonia Delaunay was an influential artist and designer in 1920’s Paris. The book Ses Peintures, Ses Objets, Ses Tissus Simultanés, Ses Modes in the Reed Special Collections is a collection of prints showcasing the crossover between her painting and textile design that epitomized the work produced at the apex of her career.
Sonia Delaunay was born as Sarah Ilinitchna Stern in the small Ukrainian town of Gradizhsk in 1885. In 1890 she left her parents and was adopted by her Jewish uncle and his wife, who renamed her Sonia Terk.1 In 1903 Sonia began studies at the Karlsruhe Academy of Fine Arts, and after graduating in 1905 left to live in Paris. Her non-objective style is considered similar to cubism, but defies categorization; it influenced and was influenced very much by her second husband, Robert Delaunay’s, art work.
After marrying Robert in 19102 they collaborated and shared ideas, though Sonia developed a style that was uniquely her own in its use of pattern, rhythm and, especially, color. She no longer made the figurative paintings of her youth, “that is not to say that recognizable objects and persons do not occur again her work…but these objects are clearly underpinnings of color, the skeletal scaffold supporting the whirling disks, the arabesques, the triangulations that make up a world suffused with light and pigment.”3
The Delaunay’s close friend, the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, first coined the term "Orphism" to describe the interpretation of cubism that characterized their work. The term referred to the mythological Greek poet and musician Orpheus and though based on cubism Orphism brings to the movement more vibrant and contrasting colors and a use of rhythmic patterns that seemed almost musical.4 In 1967 Sonia wrote of her exploration of color and pattern, “Rhythm is based upon numbers, for color can be measured by the number of vibrations.”5
During the 1920’s Sonia, who had always dabbled in textile design, began to focus on making fashion and fabric patterns. Her first fifty designs were commissioned by a silk manufacturer in 1923 and printed in Lyons. There, and in Holland, several thousand of her fabric creations were eventually produced.6 She designed and produced costumes and sets for many theater performances, fashioned and sold home furnishings, and invented a myriad of garments, mostly for women, “all characterized by considerations identical with those of [her] painting,”7 of color and pattern.
Over the course of her career, Delaunay created artists' books in collaboration with many writers, among them Cendrars, Rimbaud, Walde, Apollinaire, Tzara and Mallarme.8 The book Ses Peintures, Ses Objets, Ses Tissus Simultanés, Ses Modes in the Reed Special Collections is less of a book created as a single art piece but, rather, more of a collection of Sonia’s art prints accompanied by poems, written by friends in tribute to her work. The poetry, text, and preface are on four sides of a large paper folder at the opening of the portfolio, which is then followed by the color prints. The poems are as follows:
"La Mode Qui Vient" by Joseph Delteil, 1924
"Robe Simultanée" by Blaise Cendrars, 1914
"Poem pûr une Robe de Mme Sonia Delaunay" by Tristan Tzara, 1923
"Manteau du Soir de Mme Sonia Delaunay" by Philippe Soupault, 1922
This was not Delaunay’s first artist's book. In 1913 she collaborated with her close friend and poet Blaise Cendrars on a book titled Transsibérien, in which Delaunay’s typical colorful abstract illustration accompanies a poem by Cendrars. An accordion style binding, the book stretches out to a long vertical column wherein the original intention was for the entire edition to equal the height of the Eiffel Tower; though not enough copies ended up being printed to reach that goal.9 Delaunay said of her work with Cendrars and other poets, “Painting is a form of poetry, colors are words, their relations rhythms, the completed painting a completed poem.”10
3 Arthur Allen Cohen. Sonia Delaunay. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1975; 16.
5 Stanley Baron. Sonia Delaunay: The Life of an Artist. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1995; 98.
6 Cohen. 81.
9 Chris Michaelides. “Cendrars/Delaunay’s Prose du Transsibérien.” Breaking the Rules: The Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900 – 1937. Transcript of lecture. The British Library. View website
References & Links
Baron, Stanley. Sonia Delaunay: The Life of an Artist. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1995. View Reed library catalog record
Buckberrough, Sherry. “Sonia Delaunay.” Woman’s Art Journal. Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring–Summer, 1990), pp. 39-41.
Cohen, Arthur Allen. Sonia Delaunay. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1975. View Reed library catalog record
Michaelides, Chris. “Cendrars/Delaunay’s Prose du Transsibérien.” Breaking the Rules: The Printed Face of the European Avant Garde 1900 – 1937. Transcript of lecture. The British Library. View website
Nguyen, Viet-Nu: Brown University. “Sonia Delaunay.” Brain-Juice: Biographies. Web. 7 October 2008. View website
Seidner, David. “Sonia Delaunay.” Bomb: A Quarterly Arts & Culture Magazine Since 1981. Issue 2, Winter 1982. View website