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French painter Fernand Leger was aligned with the cubist movement and was an innovator in abstract art.
He studied briefly at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1903. By 1911 he had become friendly with Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso and had exhibited at the Salon des Independants.
Leger continually experimented with color, shape, movement, and space. The relations of geometric forms and mechanical elements-cranks, pistons, cogs, and robots-were an important part of his artistic vision.
Leger went to the United States in 1940 to escape the German forces in Paris. He traveled extensively, and his work during this period was inspired by the American industrial landscape. It was at this point that he began to minimize the connection between color and outline.
Leger experimented with lithography (a highly successful medium for him) at the Paris Atelier 17. Today his paintings and prints can be seen in prominent museums throughout the world.