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The representation of modern life was a major theme for Léger, who frequently depicted geometrical forms resembling machinery during the late 1910s and 1920s. ‘I have used mechanical elements a lot in my pictures’ he wrote to his dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. ‘The modern way of life is full of such elements for us; we must know how to use them.’ This drawing is calmer and more restrained than Léger’s earlier Mechanical Elements compositions, perhaps reflecting his close contact in the mid-1920s with the artistic movement known as Purism.

March 2008