Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB


Fernand Léger’s 1924 painting Composition made its first public appearance in 1925 at the internationally acclaimed Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, where it hung prominently in the Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau, designed by the radically modernist architect Le Corbusier. In this pavilion, meant as a model for a modernist living space, Le Corbusier applied his streamlined, Purist style to a domestic setting. Both Léger’s Composition and Le Corbusier’s pavilion were defined structurally by geometry, straight lines, and flat areas of color. Composition hung above a leather armchair, and the austerity of the painting’s flat, interlocking shapes and earth-tone-dominated palette harmonized perfectly with the pavilion’s design.

Fernand Léger
French, 1881–1955
Oil on canvas
51 ½ x 39 ¾ in. (130.8 x 101 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Jane and Roger Wolcott Memorial, Gift of Thomas T. Solley, 75.41.1

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