Let’s just say if we were Gil in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” we would have lingered a little longer. Fortunately, starting in October, we need only drive to Philly to be transported back in time to the City of Lights
during the roaring 1920s, when the great French modernist Fernand Léger (1881-1955) played a leading role in redefining the practice of painting by bringing it into active engagement with the urban landscape and modern mass media.
Leger’s “The City” (1919), seen above, is a cornerstone of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection and a landmark in the history of modern art. Using this pivotal painting as a jumping off point, “Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis” will showcase 120 works exploring complexity and excitement of the urban jungle. Look for a core group of the artist’s own paintings, along with film projections, theater designs, architectural models and advertising by Leger’s contemporaries ranging from Cassandre and Le Corbusier to Piet Mondrian and Man Ray. Oct. 14-Jan 5, philamuseum.org.