In August 1914, the cubist painter Fernand Léger receive a call for mobilisation. The country is at war, the beginning of an awful war which will last 4 years. Pulled off from his Parisian life with the avant-garde artists, Léger – like millions of soldiers – is trapped and confronted to the atrocity of this conflict. As the years progress, the war is taking an industrial turn.
The exhibition “Ah que la guerre est cubiste !” Fernand Léger et la Grande Guerre follows the artist’s path during his three years at the front – first as sapper and then as stretcher bearer. Paintings and drawings in grey tones evoke the mobilisation, the long months spent in Argonne and then in Verdun. The intimacy of his thoughts and feelings will be reveal in a “Listenning Room” where the letters sent to his relatives will be read. Sometimes terrified, often incensed or desperate, he is also enthusiastic about the mecanic beauty of artillery, and deeply adminirative of his comrades in the trenchs.
The last room of the show, dedicated to mecanic paintings of the 1920s, shows an aesthical rupture in Fernand Léger’s works.