This small but fulsome tribute to the underrecognized artist/designer pairs pop-up versions of many of her semiabstract works with fanciful interpretive notes.
Adding a third dimension to the strong shapes and loud colors that characterize Sonia Delaunay’s compositions suits them nicely. Examples range from a gatefolded array of tiny figures sporting costume designs to large assemblages of interlocking circles or other geometric shapes. These float over plain backgrounds on which, often, the cutouts that make up the next spread’s offering have been left exposed. Most of the selections bear indeterminate labels, but Grater (“inspired” by the French edition’s original text) offers comments that provide playful images—as alternatives for the wriggly lines of Untitled, 1948, for instance: “Harsh moustaches and slithering snakes? That is simply frightful! / Sticky worms and ocean waves? That’s much more delightful!” (Her commentary also drifts arbitrarily in and out of forced rhyme.) Possibly more usefully, on two spreads Lo Monaco places smaller pop-ups of later variations as invitations to notice and ruminate on the effects of similarities and differences.
Children who want to know more (i.e., anything) about Delaunay’s life or artistic context will have to look elsewhere, but this bonbon should leave a taste for further enquiry. (thumbnail index includes media and locations) (Pop-up art book. 6-10)