Fernand Léger

Argentan, France, 1881 - Gif-sur-Yvette, France, 1955

Having trained as an architect, Fernand Léger complemented his studies by attending painting classes in Paris in 1900, a medium he would devote himself to from then on, developing a prolific body of work articulated on the basis of abstraction and subsequently pointing towards the “return to order”. His beginnings, linked to cubism, and characterised by cylindrical shapes, derived towards a personal language in which the spirit of modernity is the central theme of his work. Léger started out from the belief that beauty is found everywhere and that only by free observation can one contemplate and reach it. In this way, he reveals aspects linked to speed, the urban environment, industrial development, technology and, extending the range of his work from the pictorial medium – in different media, such as the canvas, the tapestry – to film; Ballet mécanique (1924), made with Dudley Murphy and Man Ray, is the result of his incursion in his much-admired cinematographic language and the first film without an argument based on the contrast between image and rhythm – not to forget his link of architecture, through his interventions on buildings via windows and murals.