Picabia Alert

Picabia Alert #10: The Catalogue for the Guggenheim’s 1970 Retrospective



“Picabia Alert” takes note of shows and publications that include the wily French artist Francis Picabia (1879–1953), aiming to sate Picabia appetites until a retrospective of the artist arrives at the Kunsthaus Zurich and New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2016.

Some mornings you are just sitting at a computer, looking at the old Twitter timeline, counting down the minutes until it is appropriate to get in line at Shake Shack, when someone tweets something magical. Today is such a day. The Guggenheim shared news today that the catalogue for its 1970 Picabia retrospective is online now. It is handsomely illustrated (some pictures are even in color) and includes an essay by William A. Canfield, an art historian who is now working on the Yale University Press’s formidable, multivolume Picabia catalogue raisonné. Intriguingly, very few of the artist’s racy, long-scoffed-at pinup paintings are reproduced, but many other series are well represented. The book also includes a page of aphorisms by the artist:

— “A conviction is a disease.”
— “If you want to have clean ideas, change them as often as you change your shirts.”
— “There’s nothing modern about making love; however, it’s what I like to do best.”

There you have it!

The retrospective also traveled to the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Head over to the Guggenheim’s site to peruse the whole catalogue.

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