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Judi Freeman

(b Argentan, Orne, Feb 4, 1881; d Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise, Aug 17, 1955).

French painter, draughtsman, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, and ceramicist. Among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings. His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s. Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.

Born in rural Normandy, Léger often said that he was of ‘peasant stock’. Although his father was a cattle merchant, Léger was sent by his family to Caen in 1897 to be an apprentice in an architect’s office, where he remained until 1899. In 1900 he went to Paris and again worked in an architect’s office as a draughtsman. After compulsory military service in ...


John-Paul Stonard

(b Chelmsford, Essex, March 24, 1960).

English ceramicist, embroiderer and film maker. He studied at the Braintree College of Further Education (1978–9), and at Portsmouth Polytechnic (1979–82). He was included in the New Contemporaries exhibition at the ICA, London, in 1981 and 1982, and later exhibited regularly both in Britain and abroad; his first solo exhibitions took place in 1984. Perry’s ceramic work mixes obscene and genteel imagery in a naive, awkward style; his pots sport ‘rude confessions’ that glorify what Perry describes as ‘the ugly, the twee and the suburban’ (see Jar with Rude Words). His choice of ceramic as a ‘feminine’ medium was strongly influenced by his identification with feminity and transvestism—he often appears at his openings as Claire Perry—suggesting a concern with self-image and the status of pottery within the contemporary art world. Many of his pots have a critical edge focused on the vanities of the art world, as in ...