Fernand Léger was born on February 4
Fernand Léger, is a French painter, a creator of tapestries, stained glass, a decorator, ceramist, sculptor, draftsman and illustrator.
Although he built, for himself, a reputation as a Cubist, Leger's earlier works were marked by Impressionism. It was not until 1907, when he discovered the work of Paul Cézanne ─ who had envisaged "treating nature by the cylinder, the sphere and the cone" ─ and the Cubism of Picasso and Braque, that Léger resolutely embarked on the path of Cubism.
If he was close to the Cubists, it was above all to oppose Impressionism, considered to be outdated. Although his style varies, his work is always graphic, favoring primary colors, pattern and bold form.
Léger embraced the Cubist notion of fracturing objects into geometric shapes, but retained an interest in depicting the illusion of three-dimensionality. Léger's unique brand of Cubism was also distinguished by his focus on cylindrical form and his use of robot-like human figures that expressed harmony between humans and machines.
Influenced by the chaos of urban spaces and his interest in brilliant, primary color, Léger sought to express the noise, dynamism, and speed of new technology and machinery often creating a sense of movement in his paintings that captured the optimism of the pre-World War I period.
In its embrace of recognizable subject matter and the illusion of three dimensionality interspersed with or often simultaneous with experiments in abstraction and non-representation, Léger's work synchronizes the often competing dualities in much of twentieth-century art.
In 1931, he was invited to the United States to decorate the apartment of Nelson Rockefeller in New York. There, he falls in love with the urban landscape. He lived in the United States during the Second World War, returning to France in 1945.
Considered the precursor of Pop Art about to be born, Léger died on August 17, 1955.
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