Sonia Delaunay and Agnes Martin
A few days ago I went to the TATE Modern to see the Sonia Delaunay and Agnes Martin exhibitions. They are both artists I have never heard of before although my textile design friends knew about them. I'm not sure why they weren't brought to my attention when I studied Graphic Design although I wish I had been made aware of them... I've been missing out all these years!
I won't go into detail on their lives but I will share my thoughts from my visit. Delaunay's work is very colourful and even looks unfinished... kind of like her work was still in progress. I got the feeling that she was very prolific and needed to create quickly so she could move on to her next idea. Unlike Martin who worked on uniform canvas sizes, a neutrally bland limited colour palette and destroyed paintings that did not meet her exacting standards, even complaining that she could never paint straight enough! Her paintings were very precise and looked, to me, like giant sheets of graph paper. Interestingly her final piece of work did not have a straight line in it!!
A structure is present in Delaunay's work albeit more organic in nature with colours and shapes blending into their neighbours. When viewing her work I was reminded of Klee, Picasso and Gauguin.
Both Delaunay's and Martin's work still feels very contemporary and relevant today.
I will leave you with reviews from The Guardian newspaper...