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Copyright the artist
 Léger, Fernand (1881 - 1955)
France

Composition, 1953

Oil on canvas;
210 x 510 cm
Abstraction After WWII

UID 102-334



Biography

French artist, one of the century's most important art theoreticians and moralists. His art training was classical. From the end of the World War I in which he served, his obsession was with the aesthetics of the Machine Age, celebrating the rise of our century's technology, through his use of fragmented planes, of contrasts and ruptures in shape and color. He set out to imagine the city as a machine-this produced some of his masterpieces, such as the enormous The City, 1919, or the yet more abstract The Typographer, 1918. Léger had a way of adopting elements from Fauvism and Orphism to Cubism and even Surrealism, while staying independent of them." Léger observed "When one crosses a landscape by automobile or express train, it becomes fragmented; it loses its descriptive value but gains in synthetic value. The view through the door of the railroad car or the automobile windshield, in combination with the speed, has altered the habitual look of things. A modern man registers a hundred times more sensory impressions than an eighteenth-century artist." He spent the Second World War in exile in America, teaching at the Yale University with Millaud, Focillon, Maurois. Through Matisse he met several artists also in exile: Masson, Tanguy, Matta, Breton, Zadkine, Ernst, Chagall, Mondrian, Ozenfant. He was fascinated by the color glow of neons. Léger enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime." Leger's monumental paintings of construction workers on high steel are directly derived from New York. Nevertheless, the tone of the big late work is distinctly French, not American. It becomes so by its mixture of social convictions with a high-art classical tradition.



Exhibitions

Grande Escala - Colecção Berardo
Centro das Artes Casa das Mudas, Calheta, Madeira, Portugal
09-10-2004 ~ 18-03-2005

Erich Kahn - Forgotten Generation Jewish Survivor German Expressionist
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo (SMAM-CB), Portugal
05-05-2005 ~ 09-10-2005

Territórios Singulares na Colecção Berardo
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo (SMAM-CB), Portugal
22-10-2002 ~ 28-02-2003

Para o cego (....)
Culturgest Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Portugal
28-05-2010 ~ 29-08-2010

Paradise Motel
Museu Colecção Berardo, Portugal
13-11-2010 ~ 26-12-2011


Bibliography

Christie's, Twentieth Century Art, 2000
Published by Christie's

Domus, 1953

Erich Kahn - Forgotten Generation Jewish Survivor German Expressionist , 2005
Published by Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo
ISBN 9729903018

Grande Escala - The Berardo Collection, 2004
Published by Centro das Artes - Casa das Mudas
ISBN 972890200X

Léger and Composition 1953, 1953
Published by MoMA – Museum of Modern Art

Territórios Singulares na Colecção Berardo, 2002
Published by Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna - Colecção Berardo
ISBN 972974288X







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