Chase-Riboud and Leger

I dropped by the Philadelphia Museum of Art today. The Fernand Léger exhibit Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis is really good. You come away with a much better sense of what Cubism, Dada, and perhaps even the Bauhaus were all about. And not just as visual trends, but as vital aesthetic movements tied to a spectacular and exciting moment in Western history.

It is worth the trip for a chance to see the beautiful Piet Mondrian painting alone. It's a wonderful piece painted in various blues and done in the style of his early Cubist phase, back before his work became so hard-edged and feverishly sterile. The show also features an actual copy of De Stijl, along with many other art magazines of the era, which were cool to see in person. I've got a thing for art magazines. And there is a really nice Rayograph on display, which is by Man Ray, of course. Oh, and there's some great stuff by Sonia Delaunay-Terk too. Seriously, go see it.

When you go, you must also drop by the Modern and Contemporary Art galleries to check out the Barbara Chase-Riboud exhibit The Malcolm X Steles. The exhibit features around 30 charcoal studies along with a handful of her bronze and silk cord sculptures. The drawings are great. I wasn't moved by the sculptures much, although I did like Malcolm X #2 quite a bit. It's all definitely worth a look.