Picabia Alert

Picabia Alert #3: A Trio of Picabias in Gladstone’s ‘Beautiful Monsters’

“Picabia Alert” is a recurring feature that takes note of shows that feature work by the wily French artist Francis Picabia (1879–1953). Its aim is to sate Picabia appetites until his retrospective opens in 2016 at the Kunsthaus Zurich and New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Double Picabia Alert! Not only does Gladstone Gallery’s current show at its West 24th Street location feature three works by Picabia, its title, “Beautiful Monsters,” also comes from a poem by the master. (That 1940 poem, titled “Baccarat,” reads: “I am a beautiful monster / who shares his secrets with the wind. / What I love most in others / is myself.” The exhibition is organized by Douglas Fogle, and has three distinct styles from the protean figure—there’s a thickly brushed late abstraction, an elegant graphite drawing of a decapitated man holding his head (Saint Denis, perhaps?), and a portrait of a typically chic woman from 1942. Gloriously large reproductions of the images follow below. Just click.

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