Fernand Léger, ‘Untitled’, Heritage Auctions
Fernand Léger, ‘Untitled’, Heritage Auctions
Fernand Léger, ‘Untitled’, Heritage Auctions

Framed: 31.5in x 22.5in x 0in

In the present work, Léger plays with figuration and abstraction, morphing the human bodies into unrealistic forms and accentuating roundness. For Léger, "the human figure, as he later insisted, had no more importance than any other object" (Painting and Sculpture in Europe, 1880-1940, 1993 p. 255). Léger's Untitled summarizes his aesthetic approach of favoring cylindrical forms and bringing them to the forefront. Through subtle manipulation and rendering of visual realism, Léger has changed the artistic canon of human composition.

Signature: Initialed in pencil lower right: F.L.

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Collection of Bernard and Rebecca Reis, New York; Collection of Barbara Poe Levee, Los Angeles, California, by descent; Private collection, Denver, Colorado, by descent.

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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Modern Discourse: Léger & Other Modern Masters
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