Francis Picabia Biography | Oil Paintings

1-22-1879 Paris, FRA - 11-30-1953 Paris, FRA

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Picabia, Francis

Francis Picabia was born to a wealthy family, he never struggled as an artist and had and had a notoriety, somewhat planned, as a playboy who loved gambling, yachts on the Riviera and fast cars.

In 1894, at the age of fifteen, Francis Picabia showed his artistic and creative ability when needing to finance his stamp collection, he copied his father's Spanish art collection, switching the copies for the originals, without his father's knowledge, and selling the original. Without any money worries, Francis Picabia studied under Fernand Cormon who had taught both Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh at the École des Arts Decoratifs in the late 1890s.

Picabia’s first paintings were Impressionist in style and were first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1903, and his first one-man show was held at the Galerie Haussmann, Paris, in 1905. Starting in 1908, Fauvism, as well as Cubism elements and other forms of abstraction, started to appear in his oil paintings. Then, influenced by Henri Matisse and the brightly colored Fauvist art on one hand and by Juan Gris and Picasso's somber monotone Cubism paintings of on the other, he combined both movements and created bright-colored Cubists pictures.

Francis Picabia became a friend of Duchamp and associated with the Puteaux group in 1911. He traveled to New York to participate in the 1913 Armory Show, with his abstract oil paintings. During his second trip to New York in 1915, Picabia along with Marcel Duchamp and American Avant-garde painters, they formed the NY society of Dadaists.

Our Heads Are Round So Our Thoughts Can Change Direction.

Leaving away the geometrical abstractions, Francis Picabia began a progression of synthesis, in which colored copies of technical drawings suddenly obtained shapes of human figures. These "mechanomorphs" full of humor, prodding Dadaist sarcasm, demonstrate the paradox of visual perception, which could find an image in an abstract technical drawing.

In 1927 Picabia's period of so-called 'transparencies' started. The artist was looking for alternative methods to depict three-dimensional space without traditional rules of perspective. He built up this approach in his works, in which level pictures of various scales overlay and join to show an object from an assortment of perspectives. At the point when an eye focuses on the convergence of various planes and foreshortening, an illusion of three-dimensional space truly shows up.

In 1934, the 'transparencies' images were forced out by heavy brutal shapes of pseudo-classicism. During World War II Francis Picabia lived in Switzerland and in the south of France and did not return to Paris until after the war ended. He resumed painting in an abstract style and writing poetry. Picabia's art is appreciated by those who like inventiveness, adaptability, absurdist humor and disconcerting changes of style. In 2017, Francis Picabia's painting Statices sold for US$2.7 million at auction. The 2018 Auction in New York saw his Sous Les Oliviers Coquetterie (Under The Olive Trees) oil painting sell for over US$2,500,000.

Art Movement: Cubism, Impressionism.
Artists Influencing Francis Picabia: Fernand Cormon, Alfred Sisley.
He Traveled To France, Switzerland, Spain, USA.
Painters Francis Picabia Influenced: David Salle, Julian Schnabel, Sigmar Polke, Francesco Clemente.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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