Francis Picabia

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Biography of Francis Picabia ( 1879-1953 )

Painter, draftsman and writer, Francis Picabia was born in Paris, street of the Petits-Champs, in 1879. In 1895, he was admitted to the School of Decorative Arts where he was a student of Cormon, Humbert and Wallet, along alongside Georges Braque and Marie Laurencin.

From 1899 to 1904, Picabia exhibited at the Salon of French Artists, the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants, as well as in Berthe Weill’s Gallery and the Haussmann Gallery.

Until 1908, influenced by the painters of Barbizon Alfred Sisley and Camille Pissarro, Francis Picabia made many impressionist paintings that met great success. A series of brightly colored landscapes represented the rivers, paths and views of the town of Moret-sur-Loing, near the forest of Fontainebleau.

His meeting in 1908 with Gabrielle Buffet was decisive. Financially well off, Picabia decided to break with his merchants and Impressionist painting to explore new pictorial possibilities: Fauvism, Futurism and Cubism. He joined the group of Puteaux in 1911 and from 1913 to 1915, he went to New York several times, taking an active part in the avant-garde movements.

With Tristan Tzara and André Breton, Picabia led the dada movement in the early 1920s, multiplying exhibitions, performances and literary experiments.

Francis Picabia exhibited all over the world. A retrospective was set up by Léonce Rosenberg in 1930 and many exhibitions were organized in France, in New York at the Rose Fried Gallery and at the Apollo Gallery in Brussels.

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