Sonia Delaunay: Artist of the Lost Generation

Axel Madsen, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $24.95 (357p) ISBN 978-0-07-039457-5
Russian-born Delaunay (1885-1979), nee Stein, a pioneer of modernism in the Paris of Picasso and Matisse, commands attention as an artist and a feminist by example (if not in word or posture). Her radiant canvases, with their sun-like disks of swirling color, brought a warmth to cubism missing in the work of Braque or Gris. After the Bolsheviks confiscated her adoptive uncle's wealth during the Russian Revolution, Delaunay, already in Paris, was forced to earn a living. Her abstract textiles and graphics, and the jazz-age clothing she designed, helped define art deco. For decades, this expatriate supported herself, her son and husband, French cubist painter Robert Delaunay, portrayed here as a hopelessly impractical enfant terrible. At age 67, after restoring her late husband's eclipsed reputation, she broke out of his orbit to experiment with form and color. In this gossipy, wonderfully evocative biography, Madsen, biographer of Malraux and Sartre, juggles an astonishing cast of luminaries as he re-creates the bohemian artistic-literary circles of Paris. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 366 pages - 978-1-5040-0872-3
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