Kunsthaus Zürich

  • Francis Picabia - A Retrospective

    Kunsthaus Zürich until 25th September 2016
    by Marcelle Joseph Francis Picabia - A Retrospective

    A "kaleidoscopic series of art experiences," says Marcel Duchamp of his lifelong friend Frances Picabia's artistic career. This retrospective exhibition of the work of Frances Picabia (1879-1953), organised by Kunsthaus Zürich and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, will be the first-ever comprehensive survey of the artist's career in the United States once it opens at the MoMA on 20th November 2016.  Born in Paris to a French mother and a Cuban father, Picabia led the life of a nomad and a chameleon, adopting a myriad of different styles as an artist from his first Impressionist paintings to Cubist paintings, in and out of the Dadaist movement and then on to technical diagrams, citation from demanding literary works, appropriation from kitsch erotic magazines and quasi-monochrome abstract paintings (the precursor to Damien Hirst's dot paintings). In 1923, Picabia said, "Each artist is a mould. I aspire to be many. One day I'd like to write on the wall of my house: "Artist in all genres."' Throughout his life, he wandered the globe, living in Paris, the French Riviera, New York, Switzerland and Barcelona and reinventing himself as an artist again and again as well as writing poetry, publishing Dadaist magazines and organising galas. Of these wanderings and his complex oeuvre, he mused in 1924, "I am neither a painter, nor a writer, neither Spanish nor Cuban, nor American (...) nor Dada, I am alive."  Picabia, a passionately discussed personality and one of the greatest artists of the twentiety century, deserves as much attention as Picasso.  Consisting of over two hundred works dating from 1905 and 1951, this is an exhibition of a lifetime.  Make sure to seek it out in either Zürich or New York (20 November 2016 - 19 March 2017).

     

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