jeudi 18 août 2016

Fernand Léger - Femme allongée

Fernand Léger 1881-1955

 Fernand Léger - Femme allongée,1922
( reclining woman )
 huile sur toile  64;5 x 92 cm

During World War I, the Musée du Louvre, Paris, closed its doors to protect its collections. When the museum reopened in 1920–21, artists were among its most regular visitors, spurring a new interest in classicism. Fernand Léger’s fascination with the art of the past, as well as his experiences of World War I, had a profound impact on his work. Léger invoked classicism in his quest to find monumental figures for his paintings. He built on the subject of the odalisque in elaborate settings found in the works of Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, updating the classical figure with solid, machinelike imagery and densely packed, colorful compositions.
— Permanent collection label

Fernand Léger first saw the work of the Cubists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso at the Paris gallery of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Around 1909 Léger began to experiment with geometric shapes, complementary colors, and strong outlines, although his paintings remained largely nonrepresentational until after World War I. His involvement in the war had a profound impact on his work. In the years following, he introduced volumetric forms that resembled pistons and pipes into his compositions, joining others in the Parisian vanguard in charting a more sober, conservative course that placed renewed emphasis on objective observation. Substituting hard metallic tubes for pliant flesh and flat patterned disks for soft and dense pillows, the artist updated the classical figure of the odalisque (a female slave or concubine often pictured in the history of art as a reclining nude) with his particular blend of Cubism and machine aesthetics. Reclining Woman demonstrates Léger’s interest in producing "everyday poetic images": paintings in which the manufactured object is the "principal personage," shown as precisely as possible to reveal an absolute sculptural value rather than sentimental associations. This work exemplifies the Purist style, a kind of industrial classicism that focused on utilitarian objects. Léger hoped that through such paintings, art would become accessible to the whole of modern society, and not just a privileged few.
— Entry, The Essential Guide, 2013, p.263.

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