SIMULTANEOUS MEANINGS

por ROY OSBRNE, professor britânico e membro do AIC

In the catalogue relating to the current London Tate Modern exhibition of Sonia Delaunay’s work, the term ‘Simultanism’ occurs at least 20 times, but with no clear definition. I offer some possibilities, while inviting other suggestions. Simultanism is introduced (p. 46) as ‘a label for the Delaunays’ utopian aesthetic’ (oddly implying something impractical), but otherwise it’s assumed we know what it means. Paintings from 1912 are the earliest to bear the title ‘contrastes simultanés’; and ‘couleurs simultanées’ occurs in 1913 as a subtitle in Sonia’s colour composition that accompanies Blaise Cendrars’ poem, ‘La Prose du Transsibérien’. ‘Composition simultanée’ is still being applied in 1942, the year after Robert Delaunay’s death. We know that their joint adoption of such terms came from ‘De la Loi du contraste simultané des couleurs’, the title of Michel-Eugène Chevreul’s hefty publication of 1839.

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