Francis Picabia
French, 1879-1953
2,255 followers
High auction record
$9m, Sotheby's, 2013
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2016
Dadaglobe Reconstructed,
The Museum of Modern Art
This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today,
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction,
The Museum of Modern Art

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 …

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