Mercatorfonds is the publisher of the French language edition only!
A “kaleidoscopic series of art experiences.” That is how Marcel Duchamp described the career of his lifelong friend Francis Picabia (1879–1953), whose mind-bendingly diverse production over the course of fifty years ranged from Impressionist painting to radical abstraction, from Dadaist provocation to pseudo-classicism, and from photo-based realism to Art Informel.
Intrepid and audacious, restless and brilliant, Picabia would achieve fame— and no small degree of infamy—for his position at the forefront of Dada, only to break publicly with the movement in 1921. Abandoning Paris in 1925 for a life on the French Riviera, where he would remain until after World War II, the artist continued to pursue an expansive art/life practice that included painting, writing, yachting, gambling, organizing lavish parties, and racing fast cars. Always seemingly one step ahead of his critics and his peers, this inveterate shape-shifter who perpetually questioned the purpose and meaning of art would prove profoundly inspirational for many younger artists, even as his iconoclastic legacy and its impact on twentieth-century modernism have remained largely unfamiliar to a general public.
FRANCIS PICABIA: OUR HEADS ARE ROUND SO OUR THOUGHTS CAN CHANGE DIRECTION accompanies the first ever comprehensive survey of the artist’s career in the United States, and the first in Europe in more than a decade. Produced in collaboration between The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Kunsthaus Zürich, it examines the full sweep of Picabia’s oeuvre, with in-depth discussions by leading scholars of significant aspects of the artist’s multifaceted career. An extensive chronology and annotated checklist add to this landmark survey of one of the most provocative and influential artists of the past hundred years.