Full text: Juan Gris - du 2 au 26 avril : Fernand Léger, du 30 avril au 25 mai

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To-day, the early work of Fernand Léger is relatively subsidiary to architecture and dispense with the represen- 
well known. The theories underlying his ‘‘dynamistic,””’ tation of three dimensional forms. But his latest canvases 
‘“mechanistic’’, and later ‘‘static’’ perieds have been are obviously ‘‘easel pictures’’,—by his own distinction, — 
sufficiently often defined and commented on to seem, works ‘‘not to be seen as part of a room, but as composi- 
now, almost self-evident. In his brutal oppositions, tions of volume, line, light and color and enjoyed for 
both formal and chromatic, we recognize the ‘‘energy themselves, as we enjoy a sonata or a fugue.’”’ From the 
resultant from hostility’’. In his representations, the representational angle they might remind us of the Super- 
fact that he never amuses himself at merely copying a realists’ “‘associations of disparate objects.”” But their 
machine but ‘‘contrives mechanistic images with the obvious priority of plastic aims makes an effective dis- 
imagination, as others compose their landscapes.”” And claimer. Though ‘‘useful objects’ such as umbrellas, 
his color-handling is an emphatic exemplification of the shoes, keys and the like, have taken the place of stylized 
credo that ‘‘pure tones imply an absolute frankness and camshafts, turbine discs, and cylinders, the plastic organi- 
sincerity '’—pas de la cuisine. But an artist is a chameleon. zation of space still remains Léger’s essential preoccupa- 
The superficial in his work changes with the times and tion. And in this we have the basic relationship which 
his environment. And though the fundamentals do links the works of all his various periods. His art is 
remain stable, a change in minor objectives very fre- an ‘‘art of space.”” Tis objective, the suggestion of a 
quently transforms the surface aspect of a creator’s third dimension that will remain within the plane of a 
output to such an extent that an individual canvas of picture’s composition, and through it, a fresh integration 
to-day may seem quite alien to those of a few vears ago. of line, space, light and color toward the creation of a 
Léger is an example. plastic unit. 
To a cursory glance, his most recent work seems in 
almost another category than that of his monumental Léger is ‘an architect within the picture’s plane.’ 
nudes painted between 1922 and 1925. And further He idealizes the integrity of the good craftsman. But 
removed from the handful of paysages animés that imme- on still another count, the representational content (an 
diately followed. In 1925 Léger made some experiments element to-day fashionably slighted), his attitude is vitally 
in murals, basing his practice on the theory that a picture fresh. It might be described as ‘ ‘the cult of the object.” 
intended primarily as a decoration should become frankly In it he finds the promise of a new synthesis

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