NEW YORK’S ALL ABOUT ART: Interdisciplinary design is very much au courant among fashion designers and influencers alike, but soon one of the female pioneers in the field, Sonia Delaunay, will be the subject of a posthumous retrospective.
Dresses, paintings, playing cards, furniture, mosaics and advertisements were among the many items she created in her lifetime. To showcase that agility, the Bard Graduate Center will unveil “Sonia Delaunay: Living Art” on Feb. 23. Nearly 200 objects will be on view in the exhibition that will canvas the painter-artisan-fashion and costume designer’s 70-year career. The Ukrainian-born creative died in Paris in 1979 at age 94.
Visitors will get a glimpse of many pieces that have never before been shown publicly Stateside, including furniture that Delauney made for her Paris apartment in the early ’20s including an armchair with hand-embroidered upholstery. There will also be on view a newly discovered painted wood table that had been commissioned for Jacotte Perrier’s bedroom and a tapestry that had been commissioned by the French state in the 1970s. Fashion types will be drawn to the “Robe Simultanee” or “Simultaneous Dress” that she handmade in 1913 as a means of creating clothing that was reminiscent of her paintings. Delaunay also cooked up a “Simultaneous Vest” for her artist husband Robert.
Another trace of her artistic leaings will be seen in the felted wool cloche hat and silk scarf set circa 1924-25 that infused Orphism and abstract art into fashion. Her Ballets Russes costumes for Serge Diaghilev’s 1918 “Cleopatra” production will also be on display. The show concludes with highlights from the 1960s and 1970s, when she worked on a Matra 530 sports car, jewelry, ceramics and other pieces. Delauney’s ability to capture the spirit of her time still resonates, according to the exhibition’s co-curator Waleria Dorogova. When Dior recreated one of her 1920s dress designs in 1968, it seemed “utterly of the moment,” the independent art historian contended.
In other arts-related news, the Studio Museum in Harlem’s director and chief curator has received this year’s Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for her ongoing contributions to the arts. She is the first institutional leader to receive the prize in its 30-year history. The honor comes with a cash award of approximately $250,000.
Another win for New York’s art scene happened this week. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul was on hand at Wednesday’s groundbreaking for The People’s Theatre: Centro Cultural Inmigrante, a 19,000-square-foot performing arts center. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Miranda Jr. have helped to push fundraising for that project past the $30 million mark, by donating $1 million. Separately, the Hispanic Society will unveil “Picasso and the Spanish Classics” on Nov. 2 as part of the larger international program “Picasso Celebration 1973-2023” that has been organized as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the artist’s death.