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© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.
Artist:Fernand Léger , French, 1881 - 1955 Title:Paysage a l'oiseau (Bird in Landscape) Date:1952 Medium:Oil on canvas Culture: French Dimensions:25 3/4 x 36 1/4 in. (65.4 x 92.1 cm) Credit Line:Bequest of Louise and Alvin Myerberg Accession number:2010.3.9 Label Copy: This lyrical composition was painted late in the artist's life, three years before he died. It combines recognizable elements found in nature - a blue sky, clouds, a bird, and fanciful plant-like forms-with abstract shapes that may refer to man-made mechanical objects or building materials. Fernand Léger was one of the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 1900s. His experiences serving as a soldier in World War I (1914-1918) moved him to produce art with a public mission. He also became interested in depicting the tools of industry and machinery. During World War II (1945-1949), Léger came to New York, and although he stayed only a short time, his mechanized geometric shapes and modernist semi-abstraction had a great impact on American artists. You can see Léger's influence on Alexander Calder, whose mobile hanging nearby, Thirty Inches of Red, incorporates the triangles and elliptical shapes favored by Léger.

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