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Mary Ann Caws: Picabia's Dada, 21 February 2008

I Am a Beautiful Monster 
by Francis Picabia, translated by Marc Lowenthal.
MIT, 478 pp., £22.95, October 2007, 978 0 262 16243 2
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The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris 
by George Baker.
MIT, 476 pp., £24.95, October 2007, 978 0 262 02618 5
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... Picabia’s book of writings and drawings, I Am a Beautiful Monster, is wrapped in a brown-bag cover of monsterdom, while George Baker’s book about Picabia, The Artwork Caught by the Tail, is presented in a costume of gleaming gold: so we have the modest-appearing original, with its provocative title, and the shiny interpretation of that writing and drawing ...


Mary Ann Caws: Dadaglobe Reconstructed, 8 September 2016

... présidentes de Dada’ from eight countries and three continents. ‘Rastadada Painting’ by Francis Picabia (1920) The anthology was never printed because the painter Francis Picabia, who had said he would pay for it, fell out with Tzara. Dadaglobe Reconstructed, first shown in Zürich and now at MoMA in ...


Hal Foster: Sigmar Polke, 19 June 2014

... studio and beyond. At this time too, with the aid of projectors, Polke adapted from the Dadaist Francis Picabia a particular way of layered picturing, which was soon appropriated by the Americans David Salle and Julian Schnabel. At its best this hallucinatory mélange suggests not a dream space so much as a media overload, a kind of Surrealism without ...

At Tate Modern

Eleanor Birne: Fahrelnissa Zeid, 21 September 2017

... with. Charles Estienne, a significant French critic, became her champion, and Tristan Tzara and Francis Picabia thought highly of her giant abstracts at the Musée d’Art Moderne. She painted My Hell in her studio on the third floor of the Iraqi ambassador’s residence: the canvas was tacked to the wall, floor to ceiling, travelling around the corner ...


Hal Foster: ‘Inventing Abstraction’, 7 February 2013

... of charismatic ‘connectors’, such as Vasily Kandinsky, F.T. Marinetti, Guillaume Apollinaire, Francis Picabia, Tristan Tzara, Theo van Doesburg and Alfred Stieglitz, all of whom were polemicists (critics, editors, exhibition-makers) as much as they were artists. Like the diagram, the exhibition looks back to the period when abstraction emerged, not ...


Wendy Steiner, 19 October 1995

Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures 
by Renate Stendhal.
Thames and Hudson, 286 pp., £14.95, March 1995, 0 500 27832 6
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‘Favoured Strangers’: Gertrude Stein and Her Family 
by Linda Wagner-Martin.
Rutgers, 346 pp., $34.95, August 1995, 0 8135 2169 6
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... are portraits of Stein by Picasso, Man Ray, Jo Davidson, Alvin Langdon Coburn. Félix Vallotton, Francis Picabia, Jacques Lipschitz, Carl Van Vechten, Cecil Beaton. Francis Rose and Elie Nadelman. With Coburn, she is monumental, with Man Ray domestic, with Beaton wistful and, later, desolate. Stendhal’s intelligent ...

How to Prepare for Debates

Hal Foster: Rasta for Dada, 22 October 2020

Last Loosening: A Handbook for the Con Artist and Those Aspiring to Become One 
by Walter Serner, translated by Mark Kanak.
Twisted Spoon Press, 189 pp., £15, July, 978 80 86264 45 5
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At the Blue Monkey: 33 Outlandish Stories 
by Walter Serner, translated by Erik Butler.
Wakefield, 192 pp., £13.99, December 2019, 978 1 939663 46 7
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... alone in his embrace of the ‘desperado’; in 1920, the year that Serner passed through Paris, Francis Picabia, a rasta in his own right, published a text titled Jésus-Christ Rastaquouère. According to Serner, the rasta ‘gets up to all sorts of shenanigans as a prophet, artist, anarchist, statesman, etc’; as likely to be a ‘President of the ...

Velvet Gentleman

Nick Richardson: Erik Satie, 4 June 2015

A Mammal’s Notebook: The Writings of Erik Satie 
edited by Ornella Volta, translated by Antony Melville.
Atlas, 224 pp., £17.50, June 2014, 978 1 900565 66 0
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... had to be called.By the time Satie broke with Cocteau he was already working on a ballet with Francis Picabia called Relâche based on a script about Parisian nightlife by Blaise Cendrars, and in December 1924 it opened at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. It wasn’t unconfrontational. The set was studded with 370 mirrors and scrawled with graffiti ...

Anglo-Egyptian Attitudes

Marina Warner, 5 January 2017

... Larousse offers ‘a stranger living in grand style whose means of existence are not known’. Francis Picabia, who in 1920 published an exuberantly outrageous Dada rant called Jésus-Christ Rastaquouère, thought God qualified. Today Wikipédia glosses ‘rastaquouère’ as ‘un personnage exotique étalant un luxe suspect et de mauvais ...

A Rage for Abstraction

Jeremy Harding, 16 June 2016

The Other Paris: An Illustrated Journey through a City’s Poor and Bohemian Past 
by Luc Sante.
Faber, 306 pp., £25, November 2015, 978 0 571 24128 6
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How the French Think: An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Allen Lane, 427 pp., £20, June 2015, 978 1 84614 602 2
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... Renée Dunan, a feminist writer in her early twenties, who later took up with Philippe Soupault, Francis Picabia and the tricky André Breton, though she’s largely absent from the Dada/Surrealism record. Mlle Lapompe charged 4 francs and 95 sous for complicated sex with ‘the maid’ and upped it five sous for the same complication with ‘the ...

The wind comes up out of nowhere

Charles Nicholl: The Disappearance of Arthur Cravan, 9 March 2006

... when arrested for indecent exposure at the opening of an exhibition by the ‘Independents’ (Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp et al) at New York’s Grand Central Gallery. The entry of the United States into the war made him liable once more to conscription or detention, and in the last days of 1917 he crossed the border into Mexico. He was last seen ...

Notes from the Land of the Dead

Colm Tóibín: Art and Politics in Catalonia, 20 March 2014

A Personal Memoir: Fragments for an Autobiography 
by Antoni Tàpies, translated by Josep Miquel Sobrer.
Indiana, 429 pp., £26.99, February 2010, 978 0 253 35489 1
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Complete Writings Volume II: Collected Essays 
by Antoni Tàpies, translated by Josep Miquel Sobrer.
Indiana, 744 pp., £26.99, November 2011, 978 0 253 35503 4
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... of escaping. This was an essential ingredient of Miró’s originality. With the exception of Francis Picabia, who lived in the city for some time during the First World War, Miró had no peer group or set of interesting teachers. He worked out his advanced visual system alone, knowing that were anyone to see it, they would mock it. Thirty years ...

Hard-Edged Chic

Rosemary Hill: The ‘shocking’ life of Schiap, 19 February 2004

Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli 
by Dilys Blum.
Yale/Philadelphia Museum of Art, 320 pp., £45, November 2003, 0 300 10066 3
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... that Schiaparelli found the intellectual and artistic stimulation for which she longed. She met Francis Picabia’s wife, Gabrielle, on the transatlantic crossing and through her came to know Duchamp, who had arrived in New York with a glass globe full of Paris air, and Man Ray, who took the first of his many photographs of her. Her ...

Bites from the Bearded Crocodile

G. Cabrera Infante, 4 June 1981

... ballet dances à la Russe – in opposite steps to their prima ballerina assoluta. You cannot call Francis Picabia or Anaïs Nin Cuban. They merely happened to have been born on the island, but were later formed in France, where they made their reputation – whatever that is. They were as Cuban as Jose Maria de Heredia, who at the turn of the century ...

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