Léger, Fernand (fĕrnäNˈ lāzhāˈ) [key], 1881–1955, French painter. Léger first studied architecture, then he began to paint, studying briefly at the École des Beaux-Arts. He became known for his cubist paintings in 1910, and a modified cubism is apparent in much of his subsequent work. In works such as The City (1919; Phila. Mus. of Art), Léger celebrated the machine in a naive, energetic style characterized by flat tones of pure color, black, white, and gray. He taught painting in Paris and New York City. Two of his mural designs were executed by a pupil at the United Nations, New York. Several of his paintings are in the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
See studies by K. Kuh (1953), R. L. Delevoy (tr. 1962), and J. Casson and J. Leymarie (1974).
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