167
167

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Fernand Léger
UN SAC POLYCHROME ET DES FLEURS
Estimate
300,000400,000
LOT SOLD. 342,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
167

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Fernand Léger
UN SAC POLYCHROME ET DES FLEURS
Estimate
300,000400,000
LOT SOLD. 342,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Fernand Léger
1881 - 1955
UN SAC POLYCHROME ET DES FLEURS
Signed F. Leger and dated 52 (lower right); signed F. Leger, dated 52, titled and dedicated Amicalement à Leclerc. (on the reverse)
Oil on canvas
15 by 21 3/4 in.
38.2 by 55.1 cm
Painted in 1952.
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Provenance

M. Leclerc, France (acquired directly from the artist)
Galerie Bourdon, Paris
Private Collection, Paris (acquired from the above in the 1960s)
Thence by descent

Literature

Georges Bauquier, Fernand Léger, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint 1952-1953, Paris, 2013, no. 1503, illustrated p. 78

Catalogue Note

Un sac polychrome et des fleurs, painted in 1952, is a wonderful example of Fernand Léger’s mature oeuvre, which exemplifies his firm commitment to figuration and his fascination with the expressive potential of color. Throughout the post-war years, Léger developed a recognizable style at the heart of which were black contours and pure, intense color, that gave his works a fresh and strongly graphic effect. As Léger describes, "I placed objects in space so that I could not place an object on a table without diminishing its value. I selected an object, chucked the table away. I put the object in space, minus the perspective. Minus anything to hold it there. I then had to liberate colour to an even greater extent" (quoted in Dora Vallier, "La Vie Fait l’oeuvre de Fernand Léger" in Cahiers d’Arts, no. 2, Paris, 1954, pp. 152-53).

The present work is aesthetically stimulating and inspires reflection on the bold colors, the varying plasticity of the objects, and their compelling arrangement. It does not represent a likeness of the world that surrounds us, but renders the pictorial elements with sharp clarity, using a vivid plane of red for the background, and articulating the pictorial elements' contours with bold, black lines. The colors are fully saturated, voluminous and substantial, creating a work of magnificent visual presence.

The artist explained the essence of his aesthetic as follows: "I apply the law of contrasts... I organize the opposition of contrasting values, lines, and curves. I oppose curves to straight lines, flat surfaces to molded forms, pure local colors to nuances of grey. These initial plastic forms are either superimposed on objective elements or not, it makes no difference to me. There is only a question of variety" (quoted in Edward F. Fry, ed., Fernand Léger: The Functions of Painting, New York, 1973, pp. 24-25).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York