Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Fernand Henri Léger. born on Feb 4, 1881

February 04, 1881. 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. In this image: Fernand Leger, Deux femmes tenant des fleurs, 1954. Oil on canvas, 21 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches.

Fernand Léger, 1916, Soldier with a pipe (Le Soldat à la Pipe), oil on canvas, 130 × 97 cm, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dùsseldorf
Still Life with a Beer Mug, 1921, oil on canvas, Tate, London
The "mechanical" works Léger painted in the 1920s, in their formal clarity as well as in their subject matter—the mother and child, the female nude, figures in an ordered landscape—are typical of the postwar "return to order" in the arts, and link him to the tradition of French figurative painting represented by Poussin and Corot. In his paysages animés (animated landscapes) of 1921, figures and animals exist harmoniously in landscapes made up of streamlined forms. The frontal compositions, firm contours, and smoothly blended colors of these paintings frequently recall the works of Henri Rousseau, an artist Léger greatly admired and whom he had met in 1909.

La femme et l'enfant (Mother and Child), 1922, oil on canvas, 171.2 x 240.9 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel

Not just a painter, his prolific works include set designs, book illustrations, murals, stained glass windows, mosaics, and ceramic sculptures. In 1931, he was invited to the United States to decorate the apartment of Nelson Rockefeller in New York City, where he fell in love with the harsh city landscape. He lived in the United States during World War II, returning to France after the war in 1945, and joining the communist party. He died ten years later. 

The first painter to make the products of the consumer age a formative influence on his paintings, he is considered the father of modern Pop Art, and his paintings have sold for as much as $22 million.

Leger at the Tate here

Wikipedia here

1 comment:

Carla Ives said...

Leger is another unknown artist to me. I know he's French but some of the pieces here are vaguely reminiscent of some of the Mexican artists you've featured. He was quite talented, having his thumb in so many artistic pies.