Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Arts from the Past: Sonia Delaunay

Last Saturday, Craft in America hosted an amazing panel discussion with Julie Chen, Carolee Campbell, and Harry Reese, with Kathleen Walkup acting as moderator. The discussion was greatly enlightening, touching on topics of digital printing, e-readers, collaboration, and the role of craft in their practices. In Kathleen Walkup’s opening remarks she touched on the history of artists’ books including the work of Sonia Delaunay, who, among other things created an artist’s book while collaborating with the modernist poet Blaise Cendrars.

 A small section from the artist's book Trans-Siberian Prose
 and of Little Jehanne of France, by Blaise Cendrars and 
Sonia Delaunay-Terk, published in 1913
Image Taken from Wikipedia

Cover of  Trans-Siberian Prose
 and of Little Jehanne of France
Image Taken from Wikipedia

I first learned about Sonia Delaunay when I was exploring art history and happened upon the "The Guerrilla Girls' Bedtime Companion to the History of Western Art”. The Guerrilla Girls are a group of art world activists who aim for greater equality in the art world in a playful yet wholly serious manner. They write "The time has come, once and for all, for the canon to be fired". I think the case of Sonia Delaunay is especially striking, due to the parallels between the lack of attention historically given to many female artists and artists working in less acknowledged mediums such as book arts, or even craft in general. What do you think?

Just an extra picture of some of Sonia Delaunay's beautiful designs
Photo taken from this blog

1 comment:

  1. what fun to see this! the cooper hewitt museum in nyc has a sonia delaunay exhibit with a copy of that artist book--today i was their guest artist and did a workshop of pochoir accordion books with dada poems-- the results were great (and as usual i didn't take photos)