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Fernand Leger's 'The City.' (painting)

Do you live in the country, or in the suburbs, or in a big city? Wherever you live, there are probably more "things" in your area than there were during your grandparents' time. There is less open space. There arc more things made by humans like buildings, signs and power poles.

Cities are filled with fast-food restaurants, parking lots, banks, grocery stores and gas stations. Signs and billboards fill the sky with many colors, shapes and sizes. It is hard to know what to look at first. It is almost impossible to look at only one thing.

Fernand Leger was a painter from France. He became fascinated with modern machinery and synthetic environments. His painting, The City, shows a future city scene. There is nothing of nature here; everything is human-made. Even the people in this city of the future look as if they are made of sheet metal or pipes.

Colors are bright, edges are hard, shapes are solid. Leger and other artists believed that the world would become a better place in the future because of new modern machinery. Their paintings were filled with images of this mechanical utopia. This style of art is called Futurism.


1 Look around your town and find the most action-filled area. Make a list of all the things you see.

2 Make small sketches of some of the things you see. Observe the many colors and shapes.

3 Make a cut-paper collage of the area. Overlap geometric shapes just as things are "piled up" in a real city. You might want to include some people.

4 Tell your friends about the area you saw. What did you see that others might not? Tell how your collage reveals a busy, human-made environment. Do you like this place?


environment utopia Futurism human-made space synthetic
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Publication:School Arts
Date:May 1, 1992
Previous Article:Architecture in relief.
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