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Visual art

Fernand Léger and the cinema.

90 min visit

Fernand Léger National Museum
11 Jun → 19 Sep 2021
From Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm (from May 1st to October 31st). From 10am to 5pm (November 1 to April 30).

« Discover a little-known facet of the cubist artist through a new exhibition!  »

Thanks to his friend Guillaume Apollinaire, Fernand Léger discovered Charlie Chaplin in 1916. This was a real revelation for the artist who until then had painted a deconstructed and non-figurative reality thanks to an intellectual cubism. It was from this moment that Fernand Léger's work became impregnated with cinema. Creator of sets and posters, theorist, director, producer and actor, his artistic production plays with the vocabulary of the seventh art. In his paintings, he introduces close-ups, does typographic research and adds kinetic effects. When you think about it, it is not so surprising that a cubist artist like Fernand Léger should be interested in the cinema: the deconstruction of objects by assembling different planes is not unlike certain cinematographic codes. The artist himself declared in 1925: "Cinema is thirty years old, it is young, modern, free and without tradition. This is its strength [...]. Cinema personalises the fragment, it frames it and it is a new realism whose consequences can be incalculable. "The same could be said of Cubism, the revolutionary artistic movement born at the beginning of the 20th century: without rules or traditions, it breaks a pictorial monotony by introducing geometric forms and a multiplicity of points of view on the same canvas. In the end, it was only natural that Fernand Léger's work should be associated with cinema and cubism. His avant-garde film, Ballet mécanique of 1924, bears witness to this. Together with Man Ray, Dudley Murphy and the composer Georges Antheil, Fernand Léger rapidly and jerkily stages everyday objects, characters and geometric figures of all kinds, making this film one of the undisputed masterpieces of experimental cinema.


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