Fernand Léger’s masterpiece The City (1919), in which the French painter represents, with vibrant colours, the chaos and movement of the urban environment, is the starting point of Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis. As a man who saw with optimism the growth of cities and was passionate about the innovations of his time – the end of the 19th to the mid 20th century, Léger died in 1955 – he would probably enjoy the multimedia presentation of his oeuvre in this show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The selection of artworks also includes films, theatre, graphic and advertising design by Léger and other modernist artists who welcomed the technological novelties of the early 20th century.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, until 5 January 2014.
Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil
As revealed by this tightly curated exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Tarsila do Amaral, the latest artist to ride the current wave of Brazilian modernism, turns out to have invented it
Cubism: The Leonard A Lauder Collection
This superbly sensitive installation of the four greats of Cubism – Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger and Juan Gris – conveys the courage bordering on insanity that ended a centuries-old pictorial tradition
Landscape architecture: Bernard Lassus
Landscape design has advanced dramatically in the past generation and Europe’s doyen, Professor Bernard Lassus, from his atelier in Paris, has been a primary instigator of this quiet revolution in the art. Indeed, as both architect and practised landscape designer, through a plethora of highly innovative built schemes and installations, he has given it new meaning.
Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis
Two grey figures walk down a set of stairs surrounded by a mass of buildings, fragments of advertisements, railings and bright lights. Space is flat but full of dizzying action – the fractured surface of geometric shapes, bold colours and strong lines pulls the eye across the canvas in a rhythmic motion that starts, jumps and rewinds.