Exhibitions/ Art Object

Drawing for "The Staircase"

Artist:
Fernand Léger (French, Argentan 1881–1955 Gif-sur-Yvette)
Date:
1913
Medium:
Gouache and oil on tan wove paper
Dimensions:
19 3/4 × 25 5/8 in. (50.2 × 65.1 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection, Gift of Leonard A. Lauder, 2016
Accession Number:
2016.237.18
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Like the other Contrasts of Forms gouaches displayed here, this work is related to a finished painting, in this case The Staircase (Second State) (1914; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid). Stairs were a favorite motif of Léger, in part because of the implied sense of movement in the patterned repetition of steps. The black-and-white ovals at center represent the heads of the humanoid figures, walking up and down, their limbs churning like gears. Léger’s interest in depicting motion made him close in spirit to the Italian Futurists.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): FL 13; inscribed (lower left): dessin pour / l'escalier
[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, 1914; sequestered Kahnweiler stock, December 12, 1914–23; fourth Kahnweiler sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 7, 1923, no. 69 (comprised of 39 works on paper), sold for Fr 355, to Rosenberg]; [Galerie de l'Effort Moderne (Léonce Rosenberg), Paris, from 1923; inv. no. 7972]; [André Lefèvre, Paris, until d. 1963; his estate, 1963–66, his estate sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, November 29, 1966, no. 28]; Contemporary Art Establishment (Heinz Berggruen) (until 1976; sold in February 1976 to Lauder); Leonard A. Lauder, New York (1976–2013; transferred on April 8, 2013 to the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Trust); The Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Trust, New York (2013–16; gift to MMA)

Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne. "Collection André Lefèvre," March–April 1964, no. 168.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. June 11–October 7, 1991 (on view in Gallery 912).

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. "Fernand Léger, 1911–1924: Der Rhythmus des modernen Lebens," May 29–August 14, 1994, no. 90.

Kunstmuseum Basel. "Fernand Léger, 1911–1924: Der Rhythmus des modernen Lebens," September 11–November 27, 1994, no. 90.

Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou. "Fernand Léger," May 29–September 29, 1997, unnumbered cat. (p. 60).

Madrid. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. "Fernand Léger," October 28, 1997–January 12, 1998, unnumbered cat.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Fernand Léger," February 15–May 12, 1998, extended to June 2, 1998, unnumbered cat. (p. 168).

Boston. Museum of Fine Arts. "Facets of Cubism," December 7, 2005–April 16, 2006, not in brochure.

Charlottesville. University of Virginia Art Museum. "Fernand Leger: Contrasts of Form," January 5–April 2, 2007, no. 10.

Cambridge, Mass. Harvard Art Museums. "Fernand Leger: Contrasts of Form," April 14–June 10, 2007, no. 10.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection," October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015, no. 35.

Collection André Lefèvre. Exh. cat., Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, 1964, p. 29, no. 168.

Dorothy M. Kosinski, ed. Fernand Léger, 1911–1924: The Rhythm of Modern Life. Exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. Munich, 1994, p. 246, no. 90, ill. p. 104 (German ed., p. 247, no. 90, ill. p. 104).

Fernand Léger. Exh. cat., Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, 1997, p. 60, ill. no. 3.

Carolyn Lanchner. Fernand Léger. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1998, ill. p. 168.

Matthew Affron. Fernand Léger: Contrasts of Forms. Exh. cat., University of Virginia Art Museum. Charlottesville, 2007, pp. 8, 43, no. 10, ill.

Maria Gough in Matthew Affron. Fernand Léger: Contrasts of Forms. Exh. cat., University of Virginia Art Museum. Charlottesville, 2007, p. 20.

"Objects Promised to the Museum during the Year 2012–2013." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, One Hundred Forty-third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013 (2013), p. 46.

Matthew Affron in Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, p. 92, no. 35, ill. p. 93 (color).

Anna Jozefacka and Luise Mahler in Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, p. 270, fig. 35 (reproduced [as no. 28] in the 1966 André Lefèvre collection sale catalogue, Palais Galliera, Paris).



Related Objects

Six Designs for Abstract Wall Decorations

Artist: Fernand Léger (French, Argentan 1881–1955 Gif-sur-Yvette) Date: ca. 1940–1955 Medium: Graphite and gouache Accession: 1972.730.2 On view in:Not on view

'Starfish and Swimmers': Design for a Mosaic or Mural

Artist: Fernand Léger (French, Argentan 1881–1955 Gif-sur-Yvette) Date: ca. 1942 Medium: Brush and yellow, red, green and beige wash, and graphite Accession: 1972.730.1 On view in:Not on view

Walking Flower

Artist: Fernand Léger (French, Argentan 1881–1955 Gif-sur-Yvette) Date: ca. 1957–59 Medium: Bronze and marble Accession: 1992.411 On view in:Not on view

Study for "Mechanical Elements"

Artist: Fernand Léger (French, Argentan 1881–1955 Gif-sur-Yvette) Date: 1918 Medium: Watercolor and graphite on paper Accession: 1991.402.11 On view in:Not on view

Study of Objects

Artist: Fernand Léger (French, Argentan 1881–1955 Gif-sur-Yvette) Date: 1930 Medium: Graphite on paper Accession: 1991.402.12 On view in:Not on view