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William A. Camfield
Published in 1970
168 pages, fully illustrated
Softcover, 8.50 x 10.75 inches
This retrospective catalogue, and more specifically the comprehensive essay by guest curator William A. Camfield, attempts to make sense of Francis Picabia's diverse oeuvre without restricting the view of his artistic production through a narrow categorization. The catalogue also includes over one hundred images of the artist's visually disparate work, a biographical chronology, and a comprehensive bibliography.
Picabia yearned to launch Dadaist activities as soon as he arrived in Paris in March, and, on the occasion of the 1919 Salon d'Automne—with the quiet encouragement of Duchamp and the brilliant support of Ribemont-Dessaignes—he did so spectacularly. His entries to the Salon, like the superb Child Carburetor, were samples of his established machinist style, but nothing like this had been exhibited in Paris, and officers of the first post-war Salon, eager to display the untrammeled standards of French art, were mortified. Unable to refuse the work of an associate of the Salon, they hung his paintings in a dark alcove under the grand stairway.