Picabia Alert

Picabia Alert #2: Eight Picabias at London Auction Houses

“Picabia Alert” is a recurring feature that takes note of shows that feature work by the wily French artist Francis Picabia (1879–1953). Why Picabia? Because I love him and hopefully you do too, and because he is having a retrospective at the Kunsthaus Zurich and New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2016.

Today’s Picabia alert takes us to London, where there are no less than eight Picabias—four paintings, three drawings, and one gouache on paper—on offer in upcoming sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Public viewing hours for auctions tend to be quite brief, so act quickly. Particularly exciting is the fact that three of the paintings are from the delectable “Transparencies” series that the artist made in the years around 1930, overlaying fragments of images—beautiful women, classical statuary, foliage, an eight-eyed lamb of the apocalypse—one on top of the other. They’re dense with psychological turmoil and visual delectation. Enjoy.

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