Fernand Lger (1881-1955)
Fernand Lger (1881-1955)

Nature morte feuille jaune

Fernand Lger (1881-1955)
Nature morte feuille jaune
signed and dated '27 F. LEGER' (lower right); signed, titled and dated 'Nature Morte F. LEGER. 27' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
28 7/8 x 36in. (72.7 x 91.5cm.)
Painted in 1927
Andr Lefvre, Paris
His sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, 25 November 1965, Lot 55
Anon. sale, Habsburg Feldman, New York, 12 November 1989, Lot 57
Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne
Acquired from the above by the father of the present owners
G. Bauquier, Fernand Lger, catalogue raisonn de l'oeuvre peint, 1925-1928, Paris 1993, no. 482 (illustrated in colour p. 158).
Bern, Kunsthalle, Fernand Lger, April-May 1952, no. 45.
Paris, Muse National d'Art Moderne, Collection Andr Lefvre, March-April 1964, no. 159 (illustrated).
Cologne, Galerie Gmurzynska, Fernand Lger: Schlsselwerke, April-June 1990 (illustrated in colour p. 57).

Lot Essay

Nature morte feuille jaune is a precisely constructed composition from one of the key periods in Lger's career. It contains many of the elements of a classical still life, but Lger abandons the traditional format of the table top in order to let the unique quality of each of his objects speak for themselves in an idealised and somewhat architectural space. "I made the objects in space in order to be sure of my objects," he explained. "I felt that I could not put my object on a table without lessening its value as an object. [...] I took the object, got rid of the table, placed the object in the air without perspective or support." (Lger cited in Werner Schmalenbach, Fernand Lger, London 1976, p. 128).

Using a combination of fragmented objects and geometric shapes, Lger has constructed a cleverly shifting alliance of forms that explores the spatial dimension of the picture plane.

Lger consciously breaks his forms into distinct elements that, though partial, still contain the essence of what they represent. He asserted that "by isolating them, one personalises them" and that this process "led me to consider the happening of objectivity as a new, very topical value... . The way in which one looks at objects and their parts involves a totally new realism." (op. cit, p. 126).

In Nature morte feuille jaune Lger adds the organic element of a leaf to his fragments in two different formats which, because of the way that they have been positioned within the composition, visually echo one another. For Lger, all forms were equal and what interested him most about natural forms was the startling contrast they offered in conjunction with more geometric and man-made objects. In the present work these elements are boldly combined into a strange and startling but ultimately harmonious union.

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