It has been a tough week. It is now Saturday and baby is with his Daddy. Baby was with his Daddy last Sunday and I have been working all week. I have only seen him for snippets of time first thing in the morning when we have to rush to go to work and nursery, or in the evening before he goes to bed when we are both tired and grouchy. I can’t wait until tomorrow when I get to spend the whole day with him. Seven days without spending real time with my baby is too long. I really miss him. It is really tough.
Last Sunday, in an attempt to distract myself, I went to see the Sonia Delaunay exhibition at the Tate Modern. Sonia Delaunay was born on 14 November 1885 in Odessa in the Ukraine, but she spent most of her life in Paris where she died on 5 December 1979.
Sonia Delaunay was married to Robert, also an artist. In many ways their work is very similar. Colour, form, abstraction, hints of figures when you look from a distance. Together they pioneered the Simultanism (a term invented by her husband) movement. Simultanism is the exploration of colour and how the same colour can look very different, enhanced, depending on the colours surrounding it. They inspired and fed off each other, but she was the creative genius in my book.
He died before her and she spent much time preserving his artwork after his death. You have to wonder whether he would do the same. I doubt it.
I prefer Sonia’s earlier work to her later paintings. To me her earlier work has more feeling and expression. The Tate displays some of her portraits at the start of the exhibition. Her use of colour is exceptional – bright and contrasting. She gives her sitters character and intrigue.
My favourite painting was in the next section of the exhibition. If you stand at a distance you can see the figures entwined, embracing and passionate. Are they dancing? I am not sure, but the figures are moving, the colours create movement and rhythm.
Sonia is well known for her textile design. Sixties repetitive geometric patterns on fabric. Her fabrics are bold and beautiful. I am not sure whether you would wear her clothes – she certainly was no tailor, but her fabric designs are stunning. I would love some of these designs as cushions or curtains in my new flat!
The fourth section of the exhibition featured the work that she is probably best known for and my least favourite. Walls and walls of colourful designs primarily featuring circles. It is not that I don’t like them, in fact I like them a lot, it is just to me they feel a bit factory line and stale compared to her earlier work which is so fresh and feeling. These are the images that you will probably recognise. They have been reproduced many times. I don’t know whether this contributed to my sense of them being factory line and stale.
So, Sonia didn’t take my mind of my son, but then things rarely do, but she did prompt emotion, evoke feeling and she did excite me.
Her work is exhibited at Tate Modern in London until 9 August. Entry is £16 for an adult which is expensive, but if you are a member you get in for free. Annual membership is £62 if you pay by direct debit and includes a quarterly Tate magazine. It is well worth it!