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Francis Picabia

French, 1879–1953

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Francis Picabia

French, 1879–1953

2,831
Followers
Biography

During his early career, Francis Picabia painted in the Impressionist style and exhibited at the Paris salons. However, from 1908 on, elements of Fauvism and Neo-Impressionism, as well as Cubism and other modes of abstraction, would appear in his work; he later joined the Puteaux Group, of which Guillaume Apollinaire, Robert Delaunay, and Marcel Duchamp were members. The year 1915 marked the beginning of Picabia’s “machinist” period, during which he produced works inspired by industrial developments, such as Machine turn quickly (1916–18) and his satirical drawing Universal Prostitution (1916), which was intended to take a jab at bourgeois sexuality. While in Barcelona in 1917, Picabia launched a Dada periodical titled 391 after Alfred Stieglitz’s periodical 291, though he eventually denounced Dada and returned to figurative painting. In the ’40s, his practice took a surprising turn as he began to paint nudes in the style of French glamour magazines, as in Femmes au bull-dog (1942). Picabia was a close friend of the famous art collector and writer Gertrude Stein.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$9m, Sotheby's, 2013
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition
Biography

During his early career, Francis Picabia painted in the Impressionist style and exhibited at the Paris salons. However, from 1908 on, elements of Fauvism and Neo-Impressionism, as well as Cubism and other modes of abstraction, would appear in his work; he later joined the Puteaux Group, of which Guillaume Apollinaire, Robert Delaunay, and Marcel Duchamp were members. The year 1915 marked the beginning of Picabia’s “machinist” period, during which he produced works inspired by industrial developments, such as Machine turn quickly (1916–18) and his satirical drawing Universal Prostitution (1916), which was intended to take a jab at bourgeois sexuality. While in Barcelona in 1917, Picabia launched a Dada periodical titled 391 after Alfred Stieglitz’s periodical 291, though he eventually denounced Dada and returned to figurative painting. In the ’40s, his practice took a surprising turn as he began to paint nudes in the style of French glamour magazines, as in Femmes au bull-dog (1942). Picabia was a close friend of the famous art collector and writer Gertrude Stein.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$9m, Sotheby's, 2013
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 11 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition
Shows Featuring Francis Picabia
Articles Featuring Francis Picabia
Inside the Paris Apartment Where Gertrude Stein Fêted Matisse and Picasso
Jan 3rd, 2020
Inside the Paris Apartment Where Gertrude Stein Fêted Matisse and Picasso
What Was the First Abstract Artwork?
Mar 31st, 2017
What Was the First Abstract Artwork?
Do Francis Picabia’s Anti-Semitic Remarks Tarnish His MoMA Retrospective?
Feb 14th, 2017
Do Francis Picabia’s Anti-Semitic Remarks Tarnish His MoMA Retrospective?
6 Things You Didn’t Know about Francis Picabia, Dadaist Master
Jan 20th, 2017
6 Things You Didn’t Know about Francis Picabia, Dadaist Master
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