Francis Picabia – 22 January 1879 – November 30, 1953
Poet, painter, self-described funny guy, idiot, failure, pickpocket, and anti-artist par excellence, Francis Picabia was a defining figure in the Dada movement; indeed, André Breton called Picabia one of the only “true” Dadas.
I Am A Beautiful Monster
Who is with me is against me.
“Entr’acte,” the avant-garde film he made in 1924 with René Clair, and his contentious series of figurative paintings from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s. Borrowing from art history, soft-core pornography and commercial art, they presage Pop Art, appropriation art and Neo-Expressionism.
“Our Heads Are Round So Our Thoughts Can Change Direction” is a Picabia aphorism consistent with another one: “The only movement is perpetual movement.” The show has a propulsive, joyous energy. Something new, different and often challenging waits in nearly every gallery.
Dada is like your hopes: nothing like your paradise: nothing like your idols: nothing like your heroes: nothing like your artists: nothing like your religions: nothing