1885 – 1979
Sonia Delaunay was an abstract artist and key figure in the Parisian avant-garde. Alongside her husband, Robert Delaunay, she pioneered the art movements Simultanism and Orphism, and was renowned for her studied and bold use of contrasting colors. She was born to a poor Ukrainian Jewish laborers and was adopted by a wealthy Russian uncle at the age of five to be raised in St. Petersburg among a multicultural elite. Early on, she excelled creatively and was sent to Paris to study, where she would eventually became a key figure in the Parisian avant-garde fashion and art movements. In the 20s, Her Maison Delaunay fashion house was renowned and frequented by the artistic elite women of Paris. Her paintings would earn her a retrospective at the Louvre in 1964, the first living female artist to be awarded this honor. Her work may be found in museums and important collections internationally, and was most recently featured in a major exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, Summer 2015.