(Ukranian, 1885–1979) was a painter and designer who, along with her husband Robert Delaunay
and other artists, founded the Orphism art movement. Born in Gradižsk in present-day Ukraine, the artist studied drawing at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Karlsruhe between 1903 and 1905, before moving to Paris, where she attended the Académie de la Palette, where she was inspired by the works of Paul Gauguin
, Vincent van Gogh
, and the Fauves.
Interested in the study of color, light, and movement, Delaunay-Terk became known for her bold, abstract forms and geometric shapes. Her fascination with the concept of simultaneous contrast was evident in her early collages, book bindings, small painted boxes, cushions, waistcoats, lampshades, and one of her first large-scale works, the painting of the Bal Bullier
(1912–1913), which depicted a popular Parisian dance-hall. At the same time, she produced “simultaneous dresses,” a mix of squares and triangles of taffeta, tulle, flannelette, moiré, and corded silk. Her experiments with color, art, and design were called simultanéisme
During World War I, she and her husband fled to Spain. While abroad, she traveled extensively, painting still lifes and market scenes, and working as an interior decorator in Madrid. After returning to Paris in 1920, she continued to produce design pieces, and began working with fabric and textiles in 1923. After founding her own company, Boutique Simultanée, she showed work at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Continuing into the 1930s, Delaunay-Terk developed an international reputation, working with department stores in New York, and designing costumes for films.
Throughout her career, she was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Légion d’honneur. In addition, her work has been included in a number of prestigious exhibitions, and she had the distinction of being the first living female artist to have a retrospective at the Louvre. Today, her work can be seen in institutions around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Reina Sofía National Museum in Madrid.