Seated Woman and Standing Woman
Fernand Léger ( French, 1881 - 1955 )
Fernand Léger created this large drawing of two seated figures during a highly experimental point in his career. Between 1912 and 1914, he developed a series of Cubist-inspired works that took pictorial contrasts of line, form, and limited colors as their organizing principle. Here the composition is dominated by a network of contrasting convex/concave, spherical/rectilinear shapes highlighted by touches of mostly primary hues. Although the forms of figures, coffee cups, and arm of acchair are identifiable, the overall effect is dynamic abstraction. For Léger, art was meant to reflect the speed and chaos of contemporary life, and by increasing the contrasts between shapes and colors he could maximize art’s expressive potential.