Fernand Léger (Primary Title)
Férnand Leger (Former Title)

Man Ray, American, 1890 - 1976 (Artist)

Gelatin silver print
Image: 9 × 6 7/8 in. (22.86 × 17.46 cm)
This tightly cropped portrait of the French Cubist painter Fernand Léger (1881-1955) was reproduced in a special number of Cahiers d’Art magazine published to coincide with the artist’s retrospective exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich, which opened on April 30, 1933. This exhibition cemented Léger’s reputation as a revered modern master whose taut, geometric compositions of primary colors and abstract elements brought the energy and visual cacophony of the modern urban street into the realm of fine art. Man Ray photographed Léger from above and in three-quarter perspective, with the etched lines of his cheek and forehead revealed under the glare of studio lamps. These features, combined with the artist’s block-like mustache and the severe center parting in his hair, take on an abstract quality, imbuing Léger with the same formal qualities and linear precision of his Cubist paintings.
Inscribed possibly in the photographer's hand in graphite on verso: "Leger 1935".
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
Man Ray: The Paris Years, VMFA, October 30, 2021 – February 21, 2022

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