LÉGER&ART DÉCO: Vision for the Next 100 Years

June 1(Mon),2020 - April 4(Sun), 2021 *Temporary closure on Nov. 4-13, 2020
Gallery 4



Two major art currents emerged, mainly in Paris, with the dawn of the machine age roughly 100 years ago. Artist Fernand Léger who pursued pure form and architect Le Corbusier were proponents of Modernism, while the geometric designs of Art Deco that swept Europe at the time are reflected in the decorative art of craftsmen such as René Lalique. The different philosophies were expressed in architecture, monuments, and interior decoration projects presented at the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts (Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes), also known as the Art Déco Exposition. In today’s world, the idea of coexistence with robots in the near future carries both expectation and apprehension. One hundred years ago, however, a mechanical age was envisioned with exhilaration and total excitement.

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Fernand Léger, Woman at the Mirror,
1920, oil on canvas, 55.3 x 38.7 cm

Newly Acquired Painting: Fernand Léger, Woman at the Mirror

This exhibition features Léger’s Woman at the Mirror, recently acquired by the Pola Museum of Art, Léger’s short film Ballet Mécanique (Mechanical Ballet), and his illustrated book Cirque (Circus). Also on display are Art Deco cosmetic utensils from the same period and glass perfume bottles and cosmetic utensils designed by René Lalique who was also active at the time. Industrial products created by designers who were contemporaries of Léger and inspired by him, and expressions in metal and glass, considered new age materials at the time, are infused with originality and strength inclined towards the future. We invite you to enjoy the beauty of ‘Vision for the next 100 years’ creations that richly imagined an approaching future world.

Fernand Léger (1881 – 1955)

Léger was born in Argentan, a town in the Normandy region of France. He worked as an architectural draftsman in Paris, attended the School of Decorative Arts, and studied painting. Inspired by Cézanne, by the Cubism of Picasso and Braque, and by Futurist painting, Léger sought simplified form and clarity of color. In 1911 he became a member of the Section d’Or (Golden Section) group of Cubist painters who wished to be part of the avant-garde with their themes of workers and urban landscapes. In addition to painting and illustrations, Léger produced architectural murals and works of stained glass, pottery, sculpture, and film.

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René Lalique,
Perfume Bottle "Bouchon Mures",
Model executed in 1920

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Glass Toilet Set,
1920s-1940s

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Parfums Rozine,
1925,
1925