Fernand Leger

Ackermans Fine Art

Fernand legerFrench, 1881-1955

Fernand Léger was born in 1881 in Normandy.  In 1903, he applied to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris but was denied admission, so he enrolled at the Acdemie Julian and the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs.  The experience of seeing the Paul Cézanne retrospective at the Salon d’Automne in 1907 and his contact with the early Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque had an extremely significant impact on the development of his personal style. From 1911 to 1914 his work became increasingly abstract, and Fernand Leger started to limit his color to the primaries and black and white. In 1912 he was given his first solo show at Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris.

His subject matter during the 1920s and 1930s reflected an interest in social equality. During this period, Léger began several series of paintings that have been called “cycles,” which show different groups of people in action.  Regarded as the forerunner of the up and coming Pop Art style, Fernand Leger was a French painter, sculptor and filmmaker, working in his own form of cubism, modified into a figurative style. Léger’s influence can be found in the works of Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Louise Bourgeois, Arshile Gorky, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Tom Wesselmann and James Rosenquist, among others.