Fernand Henri Léger (1881-1955) was a French painter best known for his contributions to Cubism. His work, while embracing of the Cubist notion of fracture, later in his career explored the illusion of three dimensionality. This is evidenced in his occasional departure from paint as a medium, also choosing to work in ceramic, film, theater and dance, and glass at points of his career. Influenced by Futurism, Urbanism and pre-WWI optimism, many of his peak period works focus on cylindrical, robotic figures that bridge the gap between human and machine, expressing harmony with technology. Many of his paintings emit a chaos and dynamism, almost as if Léger wishes to encapsulate the buzz of a city space within brilliant primary color. The duality of Léger’s art is its ability to use the abstract nature of Cubism concurrently with recognizable subject matter. Léger believed in making art something that “everyone can understand” by experimenting with then-contemporary methods of abstraction (like fracture) while simultaneously depicting themes of his time (such as urbanization and technological advances). His painting helps to synchronize twentieth-century art for the viewer as it can be seen as a visual and ideological link between Futurism and Cubism and the later era of Pop Art, wherein many artists also focused on primary colors and accessibility.

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