The Museum of Avant-garde

Francis Picabia

Picabia studied art at the École des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. After initial Impressionist period, he moved to Cubism. In 1911 he met Marcel Duchamp, with whom he started a long friendship and founded the Section d’Or group. Picabia constant experimentation led him to explore also Orphism. In 1915 he travelled to New York and with Duchamp and Man Ray brought the Dada movement in US, producing his machinist paintings and contributing to Stieglitz’s Gallery 291 review. In 1916 he settled in Barcelona and he published his own 391 Journal. In these years he joined various Dada groups in Paris and Zurich and produced his Transparency series, until he felt the movement has exhausted his capacity to surprise. From 1925 he remained in Cannes for twenty years, taking on commercial work to face the austerity of the war. He continued to work on more abstract paintings until his health deteriorated and forced him to give up art in 1951. He died two years later.