The Smokers by Fernand Léger is a fascinating example of one of the earliest Cubist oil paintings. Created from 1911 to 1912 and displayed at the Salon des Indépendants in the same year, this painting has been housed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York ever since. With its combination of geometric shapes and contrasting colors, this painting helped revolutionize Cubism for generations to come.
Fernand Léger began his artistic journey as an Impressionist, but he seized the opportunity to challenge existing notions and bring fresh perspectives when he was exposed to Pablo Picasso’s provocative work. Through this process, Léger pioneered the development of Cubist forms. Although The Smokers is not his best-known work today, it’s a powerful representation of how deeply influential Léger’s style was in its own time.
Not all artwork is meant to challenge existing preconceptions doorways to create new ones – Léger’s Contrasted Forms (1914) served as a remarkable illustration of that concept. This painting made direct use of bold earth tones, capturing light and darkness within its composition while allowing viewers to draw their own interpretations on screen through note distinctions between color tones and shapes collided together. This iconic piece is another beacon artwork from Fernand Leger that should be admired by all art lovers alike.