Born in Antwerp, Donas came into contact with cubism in Paris during the First World War. She met the sculptor Archipenko in 1917 during a visit to the Côte d'Azur. Their intensive collaboration led to several outstanding artworks and to an intimate personal relationship. Convinced of the quality of her work, she adopted the androgynous pseudonym 'Tour Donas', having been persuaded by her artist friends that she was 'to good' to exhibit under a female name.
By 1919 Archipenko and Donas were back in Paris, where they were actively involved in the relaunch of the artists circle 'La Section d'Or'. Her work travelled around Europe in the Section's group exhibitions in Paris, the Netherlands, Brussels, Geneva and Rome. Herwarth Walden showed her paintings from 1920 on at his Berlin Gallery 'Der Sturm', where four of them were bought by Katherine Dreier for her 'Société Anonyme'-Collection (now at Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven).
In 1923 Donas returned to Belgium. Around 1927 she renewed her connections with the Brussels' avant-garde. She became a member of the artist group 'L'Assaut' and exhibited with them a year later at the galerie Marguerite-Henry in Paris.
Peter J.H. Pauwels
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