The J. Paul Getty Museum

Walking Flower

Object Details

Title:

Walking Flower

Artist/Maker:

Fernand Léger (French, 1881 - 1955)

Culture:

French

Date:

1952/1953; cast 1982/1983

Medium:

Glazed ceramic

Object Number:

2005.110

Dimensions:

312.4 × 259.1 × 137.2 cm, 2721.5821 kg (123 × 102 × 54 in., 3 tons)

Copyright:

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Credit Line:

Gift of Fran and Ray Stark

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Object Description

This colorful, towering flower seems to walk toward us with outstretched arms. A pair of "legs"--one orange, one black--extend from a central blue and white "body." The orange right leg takes a deliberate step forward as if to stabilize the form. Four additional elements radiate from the center. At the top of the sculpture, the white and orange petal serves as the flower's "head." Three extended "arms" in green, red, and white flank the head.

Fernand Léger began creating glazed ceramics around 1950. These works were almost immediately celebrated for their adventurous use of pure, saturated color which was unusual for sculpture. Léger developed the animated flower subject in his paintings of the 1930s and returned to the motif on many occasions. For Léger, the forms of nature were an antidote to the pressures of an increasingly fast-paced and mechanized world.

Provenance
Provenance
-

Eugene Klein, upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

- 1991

Estate of Eugene Klein, sold to Fran and Ray Stark, June 18, 1991.

1991 - 1992

Fran Stark and Ray Stark, upon the death of Fran Stark, retained by her husband, Ray Stark, 1992.

1992 - 2004

Ray Stark, upon his death, distributed to the Ray Stark Revocable Trust.

2004 - 2005

The Ray Stark Revocable Trust, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Bibliography
Bibliography

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 278, ill.

Boström, Antonia, ed. The Fran and Ray Stark Collection of 20th-Century Sculpture at the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), pp. 90-93, no. 11, entry by Christopher Bedford.