Fernand Léger  

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"As an enthusiast of the modern, Léger was greatly attracted to cinema, and for a time he considered giving up painting for filmmaking. In 1923–24 he designed the set for the laboratory scene in Marcel L'Herbier's L'Inhumaine (The Inhuman One). In 1924, Léger produced and directed the iconic and Futurism-influenced film Ballet Mécanique (Mechanical Ballet). Neither abstract nor narrative, it is a series of images of a woman's lips and teeth, close-up shots of ordinary objects, and repeated images of human activities and machines in rhythmic movement." --Sholem Stein

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (February 4, 1881 – August 17, 1955) was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style. His boldly simplified treatment of modern subject matter has caused him to be regarded as a forerunner of pop art.

Legacy

Léger wrote in 1945 that "the object in modern painting must become the main character and overthrow the subject (see plotlessness, objectification and non-narrativity). If, in turn, the human form becomes an object, it can considerably liberate possibilities for the modern artist." As he explained in a 1949 essay, by allowing the object to replace the subject, "we were able to consider the human figure as a plastic value, not as a sentimental value. That is why the human figure has remained willfully inexpressive throughout the evolution of my work". As the first painter to take as his idiom the imagery of the machine age, and to make the objects of consumer society the subjects of his paintings, Léger has been called a progenitor of Pop Art.

He was active as a teacher for many years. Among his pupils were Robert Colescott, Hananiah Harari, Asger Jorn, Beverly Pepper, George L. K. Morris, and Charlotte Gilbertson.

In 1952, a pair of Léger murals was installed in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York.

In 1960, the Musée Fernand Léger was opened in Biot, Alpes-Maritimes,France.

In November of 2003, his painting, La femme en rouge et vert sold for 22,407,500 United States dollars. His sculptures have been selling in excess of 8 million dollars.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fernand Léger" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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