If pictorial expression has changed, it is because modern life has necessitated it. The existence of modern creative people is much more intense and more complex than that of people in earlier centuries. The thing that is imagined is less fixed, the object exposes itself less than it did formerly… . The view, through the door of the railroad car or the automobile windshield, in combination with the speed, has altered the habitual look of things… . The compression of the modern picture, its variety, its breaking up of forms, are the result of all this.
—Fernand Léger, 1914

I once had a student who wrote a term paper in which he compared the forms in Fernand Léger’s Three Women (1921), in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, with the forms of the engine room of the Navy submarine in which he had served during the Korean war. While older and with more experience...

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