1881, Argentan (Normandy) – 1955, Gif-sur-Yvette (nr. Paris)
The French painter, designer and printmaker began studying art at a very young age and attended various schools, including the Académie Julian in Paris. At the turn of the new century he produced his first Impressionist-influenced paintings. Then, having been greatly impressed by Cézanne, he moved away from Impressionism and evolved a style of his own which was also influenced by the Cubism of Picasso and Braque. Having served in the French army from 1914 to 1917, he embarked on his “mechanical period”. In 1925 he designed his first mural painting for a building by Le Corbusier. In 1924, together with Amadée Ozenfant, he founded the Académie de l’Art Moderne in Paris, where he taught until 1939. In 1940, following the occupation of France, Léger emigrated to the USA, where he lived until 1945; there, he resumed work as a teacher in addition to his activities as an artist and filmmaker. In 1945 he returned to Paris and joined the Communist Party. From the late 1940s onwards he increasingly worked with ceramics.