Sonia Delaunay

Inspiration in our daily lives can come from numerous sources. Color, texture and pattern are abundant in our environment, whether dancing shadows as the sun hits the leaves of a tree, or an industrial grating, with intensity and rhythmic pattern. I recently came across a book published as part of an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum on the work of Sonia Delaunay titled Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay. Her studies in pattern and texture as a painter extended into varied medium and in turn, expression. It is wonderful to see through her eyes the design process as it evolved investigating the relationship of pattern, color and movement.
‘Painter, textile and stage designer and co-conspirator (with her husband Robert Delaunay) of the Orphist movement, Sonia Delaunay is a heroine of early modernist art and design. Known primarily as an abstract painter and colorist, Delaunay applied her talents and theories to all areas of visual expression, including graphics, interiors, theater and film, fashion and textiles. A characteristic of Delaunay work is a vivid sense of movement and rhythm through careful color combination.
Color Moves: Art & Fashion by Sonia Delaunay focuses not only on her art but also her avant-garde fashion designs for her Atelier Simultane in Paris during the 1920s, as well as textiles she designed for the Metz & Co department store in Amsterdam in the 1930s.The book features essays by Delaunay experts Matteo de Leeuw-de Monti, Matilda McQuaid and Petra Timmer, accompanied by more than 300 paintings, drawings, designs, textiles, garments and photographs.’

An accomplished and celebrated artist, ‘Sonia Delaunay claimed the first retrospective for a living female artist at the Louvre. She described her textiles as mere “exercises in color” that informed her true passion, painting. But her work in fashion and the applied arts, via her Maison Delaunay design atelier, may well be her broader legacy.’

Images and excerpts “Color Moves: The Art and Fashion of Sonia Delaunay,” 2011, at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

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Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

Dale Chihuly is well known for his gravity defying works in glass. Both colorful and sculptural, he has paved the way leading the avant-garde movement, and the development of glass as a fine art. In May 2012, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum opened in Seattle Washington. The centerpiece of this permanent exhibit is the Glasshouse. A 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space, the Glasshouse is the result of Chihuly’s lifelong appreciation for conservatories. I have had the pleasure of seeing his work first hand, at the  Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. It is a celebration of color, texture and patterning provided by the transparency of his medium. I personally find it to be ‘cathedral like’ in experience, as the scale of the architecture and the work within, inspires in this modern installation, as stained glass would in a more traditional setting. The form and immensity of his work is achieved through a ‘team technique’ to glass blowing which he developed. A talent and undeniable influence on the arts. I am grateful that this work has been encapsulated for experience and enjoyment for generations to come.

Image 1 :, Image 2-4 Chihuly Garden and Glass
Excerpts sourced at archpaper and Chihuly Garden and Glass


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