On Sonia Delaunay, Simultanism and Coincidence

I went to see the Sonia Delaunay exhibition at the Tate Modern and have to say that for me  it was the most enjoyable exhibition I’d seen for a while. I especially like her early work which features in the first few rooms as the exhibition is chronological. I seem to be particularly drawn to European paintings made between 1906 and the beginning of the first world war – particularly the experimentation with abstraction, bold colour and also the influences of non-western art.

So I’m usually a law-abiding citizen and respect the no-photography rules in blockbuster exhibitions. However on this occasion I couldn’t resist and got very excited when I saw a woman in a multi-coloured highly decorative coat, scarf and bag standing in front of Delaunay’s Electric Prism! I had to get out my phone and snap her merging with the painting.  I reckon that Delaunay herself would have appreciated the visual coincidence, with her interest in fashion design and the theory of simultanism which she developed together with her artist husband Robert Delaunay.



I had a similar experience a few years ago at a Yayoi Kusama show where a an exhibition-goer was wearing a decorative hoodie that seemed to merge with one of her works. Once again I couldn’t resist …. (see my earlier post on Camouflage)


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