Fernand Léger, ‘Les trois soleils’, 1953, Opera Gallery

Signature: Signed with initials and dated ‘F.L. 53’ (lower right)

Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée du Louvre, Fernand Léger, June-October 1956
Paris, Galerie Louise Leiris, F. Léger, 75 gouaches et dessins, 1911-1955, June-July 1981, No. 71, ill. p. 56

PUBLIC NOTES: While teaching at Yale University during World War II Léger found inspiration in the industrial landscape of Connecticut juxtaposed with the organic. Returning to France shortly after the war, he incorporated his new enthusiasm for machinery into more figurative compositions depicting scenes of the common man. A passionate humanist, Léger’s projects after the war were dedicated to portraying the popular life – acrobats, musicians, outings and parades, in addition to the more irregular organic figuratism that marked some of his earlier works, as seen in this sunflower piece.

Galerie Louise Leiris (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris
Private collection (acquired from the above, 1981)

About Fernand Léger

Working in Paris during the height of Cubism, Fernand Léger’s iconic style, with its emphasis on primary colors and rounded, massive forms, has become informally regarded as “Tubism.” Even at their most abstract, Léger’s subjects are easier to recognize than the rigorous Cubist dissections of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, and the accessibility and contemporary subject matter of his works have led many to describe Léger as both populist and a forerunner of Pop Art. Interested in modern innovation, Léger joined the Puteaux Cubists, engaging with Robert Delaunay, Francis Picabia, and Jean Metzinger, among others. His interest in industry and machines was further encouraged by the Italian Futurist painters, and by his military service for France during World War I. While Léger would later revisit more traditional subjects—including the female nude, landscape and still life—these works retained his characteristically bold style.

French, 1881-1955, Argentan, France, based in Paris, France

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