Le Corbusier and Léger. Polychromatic conversations

Off-site eventsLe Corbusier and Léger. Polychromatic conversations

From 20th May to 24th September 2017
From Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Sunday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Free entry

Locations :
Category : Off-site events
Discipline : Exhibition
Public price : Entrée libre
Public : All ages

As a dialogue to the retrospective Fernand Léger. Beauty is all around at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, the exhibition Le Corbusier and Léger presented at the Cité Radieuse in Briey is an invitation to rediscover this iconic Le Corbusier building situated forty minutes away from Metz. The exhibition conceived in partnership with La Première Rue and le Val de Briey has benefited from generous financial help from the Le Corbusier Foundation. The exhibition links the architects thinking to that of the painter, revealing their long friendship marked by a common celebration of colour.

After having discovered the region on the front at Verdun during the First World War, it was in the Briey basin , in 1940 that Fernand Léger imagined the setting for an aviation centre open to all. This project of aeronautic democratisation, interrupted by the war, struck a chord with Le Corbusier who had a passion for what he called “flying machines”. Some years later it was the architect’s turn to explore the Lorraine region with an experiment in polychromy as part of the construction of the factory in Saint Dié, before working on his housing estate in Briey in the 1950’s.

Léger and Le Corbusier met at the café La Rotonde in Montparnasse in 1920, year in which the review L’Esprit Nouveau initiated by the architext and painter Amédée Ozenfant and open to a broad spectrum of interests listed on the front cover : “architecture, painting, music, pure and applied sciences, experimental aesthetics, engineering aesthetics, urbanism, philosophy, economic sociology, moral and political sciences, modern life, theatre, performing arts, sports news”. Fernand Léger contributed sporadically to the publication : in a programme dedicated to the painter, Le Corbusier looked back on this critical juncture : “ We had become good friends. From Jeaanneret I had become Le Corbusier and we used the familiar “tu” form. In 1925 he invited Léger to hang a canvas in his pavilion of the Esprit Nouveau on the occasion of the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts.For the International Exhibition of Arts and Modern Technology in 1937, Léger contributed to Le Corbusier’s Temps nouveaux Pavilion with the production of a monumental photomontage.

Even if they only collaborated a few times, their exchanges influenced in a decisive manner the role they attached to polychromy in their respective projects. Fernand Léger, apprentice from 16 years old in an architect’s firm, had very early on developed an interest for this discipline.Convinced by the interdisciplinarity of the arts, he worked actively in favour of a “threeway understanding”, between the wall, the architect and the painter. “How can we create a feeling of space, a pushing back of limits? Simply with colour, by walls of different colours(…)Colour is a powerful means of action, it can destroy a wall, can it embellish it can push it back or bring it forward, it creates a new space”he maintained. Animated by the same desire for colour Le Corbusier considered in his Almanac of Modern Architecture that “ completely white, the house would be a pot of cream.”

Thanks to a rich collection of archival material – reviews, films, photographs, correspondence, etc. – a number of their projects linking architecture and painting, often little known have been brought to light.

Elia Biezunski, Special assignement manager for the Director of Centre Pompidou-Metz
Anne Horvath, In charge of coordination and research at Centre Pompidou-Metz

La Première Rue
Cité radieuse Le Corbusier
131 Résidence Le Corbusier
1er étage
54150 Briey-en-Forêt
+33 (0)3 82 20 28 55

L'exposition est conçue par le Centre Pompidou-Metz en partenariat avec La Première Rue et la ville de Val de Briey, avec le généreux soutien de la Fondation Le Corbusier.


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