The quintessential painter of the machine age, Fernand Leger observed the effects of modern technology in the trenches as a soldier in the French army during World War I. Featuring workers whose bodies appear to be assembled from standardized industrial parts, The Builders (1920) exemplifies the style he developed after the war. Unlike the toiling laborers of Thomas Hart Benton’s mural, America Today, the builders here fuse seamlessly with the scaffolding and gears around them, as though they are part of one, harmonious machine. In the 1930s and 1940s. Leger would go on to make his own murals, featuring abstracted images of industry and machine power.
Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
A bright mosaic of colors imitates the crude style of outsider art in Jean Dubuffet’s Parisian street scene from 1944. In 1923, Dubuffet became interested in the art of the mentally ill, after having read Hans Prinzhorn’s Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (Pictures of the Mentally Ill, 1922). Many years later, in 1945, he started collecting these pictures pictures, which he called Art Brut (Raw Art).
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.