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Francis Picabia

Prostitution Universelle (Universal Prostitution), 1916-1917

Black ink, tempera, and metallic paint on cardboard
29 3/10 × 37 1/10 in
74.5 × 94.2 cm
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About the work
Medium
Painting
Image rights
Image provided by Yale University Art Gallery / © Francis Picabia / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Francis Picabia
French, 1879–1953
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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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About the work
Medium
Painting
Image rights
Image provided by Yale University Art Gallery / © Francis Picabia / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Francis Picabia
French, 1879–1953
Follow

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.

Francis Picabia

Prostitution Universelle (Universal Prostitution), 1916-1917

Black ink, tempera, and metallic paint on cardboard
29 3/10 × 37 1/10 in
74.5 × 94.2 cm
Want to sell a work by this artist? Consign with Artsy.
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