U.Va. Art Museum Exhibit 'Fernand Leger: Contrasts of Forms' Lends Insight Into the Rise of Cubism and the Beginning of Abstract Art

January 08, 2007

Jan. 8, 2007 -- From Jan. 19 through March 18, the University of Virginia Art Museum presents the special exhibition "Fernand Leger:  Contrasts of Forms," curated by Matthew Affron, director of special curatorial projects and associate professor in the McIntire Department of Art.

Featuring 11 works on paper and two paintings, the exhibition gathers examples from a remarkable sequence of images made by Leger between 1912 and 1914. Two great stories of modernist art are recognized in this exhibition, the rise of cubism and the beginning of abstract art. And yet, said Affron, these works remain a puzzle.
Comprised of major works from public and private collections, this exhibition provides a rare opportunity to study closely Leger's extraordinary manner of imaging. In 1915 the painter described this open-ended series of compositions as "fairly abstract investigations (contrasts of forms and colors)," choosing his words in order to highlight the experimental thrust of the series as a whole. Among the public lenders are the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Following its presentation in Charlottesville, the exhibition will travel to the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, where it will be on view from April 14 through June 10.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue made possible by the Oakwood Foundation, with essays by Affron and Maria Gough, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.

Exhibition sponsors are the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, the University of Virginia Art Museum Volunteer Board, the Carl H. and Martha S. Lindner Center for Art History in the McIntire Department of Art, the Arts Enhancement Fund, the dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Nicholas Acquavella, Sheila and Ted Weschler, and Sheridan W. and Thomas F. Nicholson.

The exhibition will be on view for the museum's January Final Friday reception, Jan. 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Then, on Friday, Feb. 23, Affron will present a gallery talk on the exhibition, beginning at 5 p.m. in the museum. The February Final Friday reception will follow until 7:30 p.m.

The museum is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information call (434) 924-3592 or visit the museum Web site www.virginia.edu/artmuseum.

Related Events

Family Art JAM: Exploring Modern Art
Saturday, Jan. 20, 1-3 p.m. In the museum.

Gallery Talk by Matthew Affron, exhibition curator and director of special  curatorial projects
Final Friday Reception follows
Friday, Feb. 23: talk is at 5 p.m., reception, 5:30 -7:30 p.m. in the museum.