A source of inspiration for Pop Art
Like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, Férnand Léger ranks among the foremost protagonists of classical modernism. In his artistic oeuvre, Léger developed a highly original vocabulary of color and form, one that is explored in this booklet on the basis of selected works from the Fondation Beyeler collection. Fernand Léger is an artist’s artist: strongly influenced by Cubism, his painting also took account of the work of Paul Cézanne and Henri Rousseau. The billboard-style characteristics of his handling of space and color are probably the reason why he exerted a particular stimulus upon American artists of the Pop Art generation. Fernand Léger was undoubtedly an important pathfinder. He thereby prepared the ground for subsequent generations of artists, enabling them to create with courage and freedom.
Léger ‘constructed’ his pictures using an additive compositional technique. Certain motifs are thus reassembled, in series of works spanning large periods of time, like individual modules into new combinations. From the 1940s onwards, Léger disengaged color from drawing, employing it instead in large, sharp-edged fields that seem to float above the pictorial surface. He thereby created within his paintings a new, irritating equilibrium of color, colored form, and drawing.
ANSICHTEN no. 11 takes an in-depth look at the work of Férnand Léger. Detailed descriptions, technical data, special features, background information, and questions of interpretation all fall within the scope of this booklet.
The ANSICHTEN (‘VIEWS’) series has been created for art lovers and teachers. Packed with insights, the series allows you to explore the works in the Fondation Beyeler in greater depth.
Each ANSICHTEN volume also contains a section specifically designed for art educators. This part of the book suggests ideas for practical exercises and experiments that can be performed in the museum, in the classroom or at home.
The ANSICHTEN series published by the Fondation Beyeler is an enjoyable and entertaining way of deepening your knowledge of a work of art.