Francis Picabia: Catalogue Raisonné IV: 1940-1953
This publication is the fourth volume of an important catalogue raisonné of the work of Francis Picabia This publication, the fourth volume of an important catalogue raisonné of the work of Francis Picabia (1879-1953), includes paintings and selected drawings dating from 1940 into 1952. During the war years, while still residing in the south of France, Picabia was primarily occupied by figural subjects–multi-figure allegories, female nudes, and glamorous female “portraits”–painted in bold illusionistic relief. Notorious even in his lifetime, most of these works are now known to have adapted photographic illustrations in older “girly” magazines and other popular media. Upon his return to Paris in the post-war period, Picabia renewed his earlier interests in abstract and sometimes non-objective art, still often drawing upon published sources ranging from prehistoric art to Nietzsche, and pursued frequent exhibition of his distinctive, constantly mutating responses to critical currents of the day. These included a series of severely reductive, subtly effective “point” or dot paintings beginning in 1949–three years before ill-health effectively ended Picabia’s half-century of artistic provocation.