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ABC is a preparatory study for the oil painting Nature morte A.B.C. (1927), which was owned by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. It is an abstract still life that features lettering reminiscent of early Cubism, combined with abstract elements on a tilted plane. Although Léger had already made paintings that incorporated letters in the late 1910s and in the 1920s, this was the first time that lettering itself became the subject of the work. Léger applied the gouache heavily in the areas with black ink, treating it almost like oil paint.

September 2004