Monday, June 18, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Fernand Leger (1881 – 1955)


French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker.
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Fernand Leger
Isn’t it human to go beyond the limits, to grow beyond oneself, to strive toward freedom! The round is free. (on the Circus, 1950)
Leger quotes
The mural artist is concerned with bringing to life dead surfaces by the application of colour. (on making murals, 1937)
Leger
It is from.. .. Renaissance that individualism in painting dates; and I do not believe there is any use in looking in this direction if we desire to bring into being a fresh mural art, one that shall be at once popular, collective and contemporary. on making murals, fh)




Leger Fernand quotes
An example: if I compose a picture using as objects a scrap of bark, a scrap of butterfly wing and a purely imaginary form, you probably won’t recognise the bark, or the butterfly wing, and you’ll say: ‘What does this stand for? It is an abstract picture. No it’s a representational picture’.. ..There is no such thing as ‘abstract’, or ‘concrete’ either. There is a good picture and a bad picture. There is the picture that moves you and the picture that leaves you cold.. ..A picture has a value in itself, like a musical score, like a poem.
Leger Fernand
It is an outrage towards the masses.. ..It’s wanting to treat them as though they’re incapable of raising themselves up to this new realism (promoted by Léger and Le Corbusier, fh) which is that of their area, which they’ve made with their hands.. ..To want to say to these men ‘the modern is not for you it’s an art for the rich bourgeoisie.. (attack on the notion of a social realist art, around 1949)
Fernand Leger quotes
I dispersed my objects in space and got them to hold together by making them radiate forwards, out of the picture. It’s all an easy interplay of chords and rhythms made up of foreground and background colours, of conducting lines, of distances and of contrasts.
Fernand Leger
Let us take the time in this fast and ever-changing life which harasses us and tears us to pieces; to have the strength to remain slow and calm. To work outside the elements of disintegration that surrounds us. To comprehend life in it slow and calm sense. The work of art requires a temperate climate in order to develop fully. In this heightened tempo which is the law of life, to determine fixed points to hold onto them and to slowly work on the achievement of the future
Leger Fernand quotes
..the personification of the close-up detail, the individualisation of the fragment, where the drama takes shape, moves and have it being. Film concurs with this aspect for life. The hand is a multiple, transformable object. Before I saw it in a film, I did not know what a hand was! The object in itself is capable of becoming an absolute, moving, tragic thing.
Leger
The earth is round, so why to play it square? Beneath the sun and beneath the moon, in the clouds that sail gently by, everything is going round. Children dance in a ring; there is the Tour de France, and the bikes, and the eyes that look at them and frame them on the road.. ..You leave your rectangles, your geometrical windows, and you go to the land of circles in action.. ..It’s human nature to break through boundaries, to grow, to push towards freedom. Roundness is free; it has no beginning and no end. (on the Circus, 1950)
Leger Fernand
I was attracted to Romanesque sculptures, to the complete re-invented figures and the freedom with which the Romanesque artist constructed them. He does not copy, he creates in a totally anti-Renaissance fashion can say that in Romanesque sculpture I have found a starting point for distortion.
Fernand Leger
I venture out to the great ‘sujet’; but, I repeat, my painting always remains object painting; it starts around 1936 with Adam et Eve. My figures humanise themselves further, but I always stick to the pictorial circumstance – no eloquence, no romanticism -




Fernand Leger quotes
..between ourselves, do you think a worker wants to hang a picture in his home where he sees himself sweating in a factory? He would prefer a bouquet of flowers or a pretty landscape. (critic on Aragon’s social realism, around 1950)
Fernand Leger
The essential is the object. Error consists in forgetting that grain, cotton, wool are vital objects and in being interested in them only because of their value in gold, their speculative value. The economic purpose is not ‘to make millionaires out of gasoline’ but to distribute gasoline according to demand and need. Wall street is an abstraction.
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