Lot 368
  • 368

Sonia Delaunay

bidding is closed


  • Sonia Delaunay
  • signed Sonia Delaunay and dated 1952 (lower left)
  • oil on canvas
  • 105 by 194.5cm., 41 3/8 by 76 5/8 in.


Acquired by the father of the present owner in the 1950s


Paris, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, 7ème Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, 1952, no. 125
Rome, Galleria nazionale d'arte moderna, Arte astratta italiana e francese, 82a mostra dell'Art Club, 1953
Paris, Galerie Bing, Jean Arp, Sonia Delaunay, A. Magnelli, S. Taeuber-Arp, 1954
New York, Rose Fried Gallery, Sonia Delaunay, 1955, no. 20

Catalogue Note

The present work was the only painting that Sonia Delaunay chose to show at the 1952 Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, an exhibiting society devoted to pure abstract art, founded in Paris in 1946 with the help of Sonia Delaunay and which continues to this day. In its first manifesto of 1948, the Salon defined its raison d'être: the promotion of non-figurative abstract art which is 'not linked to the world of outside appearances... a certain space filled with interconnected lines, shapes, surfaces, colours'. The present work brilliantly exemplifies this statement, and embodies the dynamic energy and structural sophistication of Delaunay's Rythmes Colorés.

Inspired by the ideas of the French chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul developed in De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs et de l'assortiment des objets colorés, Delaunay used pure colours and simple forms. Here, the monumentality of the canvas, associated with the contrasts of the strong blue, reds and blacks against the vibrant yellow create a striking resonance reminiscent of the works of Mondrian (fig. 1). 

As discussed by Sherry Buckberrough, 'Sonia Delaunay's simultaneous colours capture the imagination between the beats of changing rhythmic orders. Yet, those colours present far more than the imaginings of a single mind. Her art expresses the fullness and complexity of creation and of life' (S. Buckberrough, Sonia Delaunay, a retrospective (exhibition catalogue), Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 1980,  p. 111).


FIG. 1, Piet Mondrian, Composition with red, yellow blue and black, 1921, oil on canvas, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague