Joseph Fernand Henri LégerFrench, 1881- 1955
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was born on February 4, 1881, in
Léger’s earliest-known works, which date from 1905, were primarily influenced by Impressionism. The experience of seeing the Paul Cézanne retrospective at the 1907 Salon d’Automne and his contact with the early Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque had a significant impact on the development of his style—it focused the artist more on drawing and geometry. His critics would label his personal style of Cubism as ‘Tubism’ due to its emphasis on cylindrical forms.
From 1911 to 1914 Léger’s work became increasingly abstract, and he started to limit his palette to the primary colors and black & white. In 1912 he was given his first solo show at Galerie Kahnweiler,
In the decade before his death, Léger’s wide-ranging projects included book illustrations, monumental figure paintings and murals, stained-glass windows, mosaics, polychrome ceramic sculptures, and set and costume designs. In 1955 he won the Grand Prize at the São Paulo Bienal. Léger died on August 17 of that year at his home in
Léger's influence can be found in the works of Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Milton Resnick, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Lindner, Arshile Gorky, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Brice Marsden, Frank Stella, Tom Wesselmann and James Rosenquist, among others. In May 2008, a Leger painting 'Study for a Woman in Blue' set an auction record for the artist selling for $39.2 million dollars--bidding between only two bidders.