Art: Master of Visual Slang

Leger saw machines as the poetry of Modernism

Fernand Leger (1881-1955) is the only one of the great early 20th century French Modernists who hasn't had a major museum show in America in nearly half a century. Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Duchamp and others, yes; but not Leger--a fact that is doubly odd, since no French painter, indeed, no French cultural figure of any kind, was more fascinated and stimulated by American culture, or did more to make a bridge between Paris and New York. Now, with an excellent and tightly focused show at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art, this has happily changed. Curated by Carolyn Lanchner, the show is...

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