The Divers (Red and Black)
Fernand Léger ( French, 1881 - 1955 )
Fernand Leger explained his intentions for the series of Divers paintings, which he began around 1940: "I tried to translate the character of the human body evolving in space without any point of contact with the ground. I achieved it by studying the movements of swimmers diving into the water from very high...." The separation of design and color was inspired by the neon signs he saw in New York when he came to this country to escape World War II: "I was struck by the neon advertisements flashing all over Broadway. You are there, you talk to someone, and all of a sudden he turns blue. The color fades, another one comes and turns him red or yellow. The color is free. It exists in space. I wanted to do the same in my canvases."
DMA Label copy, 1993.