Modern Art 1900-40

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Comparison Paper
Modern European Art 1900-50

By the end of World War I in 1918, artist had a remarkable change in their styles of art. Two very pronounced artists, Fernand Leger and Max Beckman, served in the war and impacted their art profusely. World War I was an era of industrialization in culture and in the economy, and as the world changed, so did European Art.

Leger fascination with the past and his vital experience in the war had a profound impact on his work. While the war was undergoing trench warfare, Leger was one who almost lost his life, due to a mustard gas attack, which changed his imagery in art from cubist, to what critics called “tubist”. His emphasis on cylindrical, ambivalent forms, machine like imagery, and highly saturated colors created a futuristic world with distorted space.

In Leger, Reclining Woman 1922, Leger’s main focus was the obvious woman in the center foreground of the painting. She appears to be looking at you, the audience, as if she were trying to bring you into her space. Although she appears to be nude, Leger tries to make the main focus in the curves of the woman by exerting his color and balancing out the composition. The highly saturated yellow in the woman’s pants draws your attention to the middle of the painting were it displays the woman laying down holding a book. The distinctive lines and high to dark contrasted colors allows Leger to shows the woman’s body. From bright yellow, to shades of brown, and a dark emphasis in his lines, you can distinguish the separation of the pants and her upper body. The geometrical shapes in the woman’s body are outline by dark hues a rusty orange, ad brown. These tubular, body like shapes keeps our focus more on the woman herself, rather than the other geometrical forms in the background.

With color, shapes, and lines, the image was compositionally balanced. There is an equal balance of yellow in the middle composition, as well as on both sides of the woman, also the...
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