Sonia Delaunay, beyond the painting

 

 

"Flamenco Singer" 1915

 

 

 

Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979), ukrainian artist, was a key figure in parisian avant-garde. She first studied in Germany and later in Paris, where he had influences from Impressionism, Cubism and Fauvism. She experimented with Robert Delaunay, his husband, in the field of light and color, pursuing and abstract language directed toward a new art faraway from traditional habits. Together they create the Simultanism, current that focused on painting dynamism using simultaneous contrasts of colour. The artist expressed this trend both in painting and in the design of fashion, textiles and books, among others.The Delaunays associate Simultanism to modern life and urban development, and they wanted to bring it to all possible fields. Sonia claimed the importance of fashion design or decoration, equating them with painting or sculpture, in a moment when those minor arts were not valued.

 

 

 

Sonia Delaunay´s costume designs

 

 

 

The exhibition shows textile artwork together with the artist´s paintings, and underscores the period when the family lived in Madrid, city in which they settled in 1917 after I World War outbreak. The arrival in Madrid made her to approach the popular culture, above all flamenco, what she loved. After russian revolution, she no longer received an income. It was when Sonia began to design costumes for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. She designed her dresses by joining together small pieces of fabrics in different forms and textures. In parallel, she dedicated to interior decoration and, afterwards, she set up her own clothes brand and opened a shop first in Madrid and later in Paris.

 

 

 

Bal Bullier, 1913

 

 

 

Among her more relevant creations we can find her `simultaneous dresses´. The first of them was made in 1913 for Bal Bullier ballroom, and was defined by Apollinaire as `a living painting´. Sonia brings her designs on paper to canvas. It can be appreciated how flamenco culture influenced her in the `Grand Flamenco´ picture. It is also worth taking into account her designs for ballets, like the one she made for `Cleopatra´, or her dresses for film actresses, like the one she designed to Gloria Swanson.

 

 

 

Costume design for `Cleopatra´

 

 

 

Sonia Delaunay´s artwork is shown in 210 creations that belong to public institutions like the Pompidou Centre, the National Library of France, the Fashion Museum of Paris or Reina Sofía museum; as well as several private collections and the Thyssen funds, museum where it can be visited until October 10.

 

 

 

Dress designed for Gloria Swanson

 

 

 

 

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.