Sonia Delaunay (1884-1979)
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Sonia Delaunay (1884-1979)

Rythme coloré no 895

Sonia Delaunay (1884-1979)
Rythme coloré no 895
signed 'SONIA DELAUNAY' (lower left); with the date and inscription '1952-1960 SONIA DELAUNAY' (on the stretcher); with the number '895' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
32 x 39½ in. (81.3 x 100.3 cm.)
Painted in 1960-1961
Galleria del Naviglio, Milan.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1962.
(probably) London, Brook Street Gallery, Sonia Delaunay, May 1961, no. 44.
Milan, Galleria del Naviglio, Sonia Delaunay, November - December 1962.
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Cornelia Svedman
Cornelia Svedman

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Lot Essay

Richard Riss has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

A mature example of Delaunay's unique and sensuous form of abstraction, Rythme coloré no. 895 is a work that with its strong correlation of simple, bold, and dynamic pure colour forms, typifies Delaunay's powerful abstraction of the 1950s. Painted directly onto the canvas in a spontaneous and even impulsive act of creation, without recourse to drawing or even a specific, preconceived idea, the painting is ultimately a poetic construction of pure abstract form and colour.

In this way Delaunay asserted, 'Colour, freed from its descriptive, literary use', can be 'grasped as such, in its own particular richness. The subject is of no importance; it can be hinted at, or else arise out of the coloured configuration itself. He who knows how to appreciate colour relationships, the influence of one colour on another, their contrasts and dissonances, is promised an infinitely diverse imagery. With colour comes the essential structural element of rhythm, which is based on numbers. Just as in written poetry, that which counts is not the mere juxtaposition of words, but the act of creation mysteriously provoking (or not provoking) emotion; so in colours, what counts is poetry, the mysterious inner vitality - emanating and communicating. At last we have hopes of a new language' (Sonia Delaunay quoted in J. Damase, Sonia Delaunay, Rhythms and Colours, London, 1972, pp. 275-6).

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