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Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis
Exhibition Catalogue Award 2014
- Edited by Anna Vallye; With contributions by Christian Derouet, Maria Gough, Stuart Liebman, Spyros Papapetros, Anna Vallye, and Jennifer Wild
Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis (Philadelphia Museum of Art) published in conjunction with Yale University Press on the occasion of the exhibition held at the Philadelphia Museum and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezla, Museo Correr, Venice, has been awarded the 2014 Dedalus Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award, which recognizes an outstanding exhibition catalogue that makes a significant contribution to the scholarship of modern art or modernism.
With his landmark 1919 painting The City, Fernand Léger (1881–1955) inaugurated a vitally experimental decade during which he and others redefined the practice of painting in confrontation with the forms of cultural production that were central to urban life, ranging from graphic and advertising design to theater, dance, film, and architecture. This catalogue casts new light on the painting (reproducing all of its studies together for the first time), the avant-garde use of print media, and Léger’s fascination with cinema and architecture, and contextualizes a network of international avant-gardes—including Blaise Cendrars, Le Corbusier, Jean Epstein, Piet Mondrian, Amédée Ozenfant, Francis Picabia, and Theo van Doesburg—in relation to Léger. Featuring nearly 250 images of paintings, architectural designs, models, posters, set designs, and film stills and an anthology of relevant historical texts not previously published in English, this handsome volume conveys the spirit of experimentation of the 1920s. Scholars in the fields of art, architecture, and film history offer a deeper understanding of the relationship between art and the modern urban experience that defined this significant chapter in the history of modern art.