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Sonia Delaunay

I am over the moon to see the Tate put on such a big exhibition of Sonia Delaunay's work. I was fascinated to see how her creative output morphed and developed throughout her life. The show begins with some early portriture but it could have ended there really, these pieces are so lively and full of inventive, playful colour that the characters leap of the canvas. I adored the bravery of painting a face with bright reds, greens or purple and yet creating something totally real, expresive and recognisable. Delaunay experiemented with quite simple graphic shapes and colour blocks throughout her working life but for me the most exciting phase is when she builds a fashion house. Her spontinaity and bravery really come accross in the colourful, playful and bold patterns she made for fabrics - and in the fashion illustrations themselves. A big highlight is the knitted swimming costume. Yes the cloth may be 1930s but the diagonal colour blocking? Well I'd wear that today! In lycra please. I was actually less enamoured by the end of the show when Delaunay's work boils down to the repetitive creation of colour wheels on canvas. I concluded that it was the heavy use of red that jarred and felt agressive to me. It's one of my wierd designer foibles that I am anti red! Just give me off-red and it's ok - like coral or raspberry. Oh but moreover, give me Sonia Delaunay's swimsuit!

 

 

 

 

 

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