Leger, Fernand, Les Constructeurs, 1955
Signed Fernand Leger, Lithograph, Les Constructeurs, 1955
|Artist:||Leger, Fernand (1881 - 1955)|
|Title:||Les Constructeurs, 1955|
Original Color Lithograph
|Image Size:||23 3/8 in x 17 3/8 in (59.3 cm x 44.2 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||25 in x 20 in (63.5 cm x 50.8 cm)|
|Framed Size:||39 1/4 in x 34 1/4 in (99.7 cm x 87 cm)|
|Signed:||This work is hand-signed by Fernand Léger (Argentan, 1881- Gif-sur-Yvette, 1955) in ink in the lower right margin.|
|Edition:||Numbered from the total edition of 260; printed by Desjobert, Paris on Johannot watermarked paper and published by Folkorelsernas Konstframjande, Stockholm.|
|Condition:||This work is in excellent condition with bright, fresh colors.|
Some of Léger's most famous and important works surround the depiction of construction workers, and this magnificent print is no exception. Addressing such themes as the modernity of man and the reconstruction of bodies and landscapes, Léger creates an image defined by structure and the promise of progress and innovation.
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| Displaying two men seated in the scaffolding of a building, Léger carefully
constructs an image defined by structure and weightlessness, qualities that
characterizes the construction of multistoried building. Of this series Léger
has stated: I took Les Constructeurs down to the Renault factory, and they were
hung on the walls of the canteen. The blokes came in at twelve. They looked
at the pictures whilst they were eating. Some of them sniggered 'Just look at
them! Those blokes could never move with hands like that!' In fact they were
making judgments and comparisons. My pictures seemed funny to them. They didn't
understand them. Sadly eating my soup I listened to them. I went back to eat
at the canteen eight days later. The atmosphere was different. The blokes weren't
laughing any more, they weren't looking at the paintings. Nevertheless, quite
a few of them, while eating, glanced up, had a quick look at the pictures before
digging into their plates again. Who knows if the canvases intrigued them or
not. But when I was getting ready to go one of the blokes came up to me: 'You're
the painter, aren't you? You'll see. My mates are going to notice the difference
when you take your paintings away. When they'll be looking at blank wall in
front of them, my mates are going to realize what your colours are like
that the kind of statement that gives on pleasure" (Francia, 204 - 205).
Created in 1955, this work is drawn from a series entitled Les Constructers, this work is hand-signed by Fernand Léger (Argentan, 1881- Gif-sur-Yvette, 1955) in ink in the lower right margin and numbered in pencil in the lower left margin from the edition of 260. This work is printed by Desjobert, Paris on Johannot watermarked paper and published by Folkorelsernas Konstframjande, Stockholm.
Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
1. Saphire, Lawernce, Fernand Léger, The Complete Graphic Works, 1978, listed as catalogue raisonnè no. 141 on pg. 234 (another example illustrated) and further discussed on pg. 285-286.
2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.
About the Framing:
|Style:||20th Century French Modern Master, pochoir, ceramic and tapestries|
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Biography of Fernand Leger
French painter and designer. From c.1909 he participated in the Cubist movement. He is generally considered one of its major masters but his curvilinear and tubular forms (he was for a time called a 'tubist') contrasted with the fragmented forms preferred by Picasso and Braque. The First World War, during which he was gassed whilst serving as a stretcher-bearer, had a profound effect on Leger. His contact with men of different social classes and different walks of life came as a revelation: 'I was abruptly thrust into a reality which was both blinding and new,' he said. Henceforward he made it his ambition to create an art which should be accessible to all ranks of modem society.
In 1920 he met Le Corbusier and Ozenfant and in the early 1920s he was associated with their Purist movement. His paintings were static, with the precise and polished facture of machinery, and he had a fondness for including representations of mechanical parts.During the late 1920s and 1930s he also painted single objects isolated in space and sometimes blown up to gigantic size, In the inter-war years he expanded his range beyond easel painting, with murals and designs for the theatre and cinema. He was also busy as a teacher, notably at his own school, the Academie de I'Art Contemporain, and he traveled widely, making three visits to the USA in the 1930s. The connections he had made there stood him in good stead when he lived in America. During the Second World War he lived in the USA, teaching at Yale University, and at Mills College, California. Acrobats and cyclists were favorite subjects in his paintings of this time. From his return to France in 1945 his painting reflected more prominentlyhis political interest in the working classes. But its static, monumental style remained, with flat, unmodulated colours, heavy black contours, and a continuing concern with the contrast between cylindrical and rectilinear forms. in his later career Leger worked much on large decorative commissions, notably the windows and tapestries for the church at Audincourt (1951). Many honours came to him late in life, and a museum dedicated to him opened at Biot in France in 1957. In the catalogue of the exhibition Leger and Purist Paris' (Tate Gallery, London, 1970), John Golding wrote of Leger: 'No other major twentieth-century artist was to react to, and to reflect, such a wide range of artistic currents and movements . . . And yet he was to remain supremely independent as an artistic personality. Never at any moment in his career could he be described as a follower ... But his originality lay basically in his ability to adapt the ideas and to a certain extent even the visual discoveries of others to his own ends.' He saw the poetic value that lies in the clear delineation of everyday objects, the in trinsic beauty of modem machinery and the things which are mass-produced by machinery, and he favoured proletarian subjects, depicting them with the same clarity and precision as the themes taken from machine culture.