Francis Picabia (born Francis-Marie Martinez de Picabia, 22 January 1879 – 30 November 1953) was a French avant-garde painter, poet and typographist. After experimenting with Impressionism and w:Pointillism, Picabia became associated with Cubism. His highly abstract planar compositions were colourful and rich in contrasts. He was one of the early major figures of the Dada movement in the United States and in France. He was later briefly associated with Surrealism, but would soon turn his back on the art establishment.
Quotes of Francis Picabia
chronologically arranged, after date of the quote
- ..giving plastic reality to inner states of the mind.
- The aim of art is to get us to dream, just like music, for it expresses a mood projected onto the canvas, which arouses identical sensations in the viewer.
- two short quotes, in 'A Paris painter', by Hapgood, published in 'The Globe and Commercial Advertiser', 20 Febr. 1913, p. 8
- I do not consider myself a Cubist either because I have come to the conclusion that cubes are not always made for expressing the thought of the brain and of the feeling of the spirit.. .I capture all these impressions [the visual sensations, Picabia sensed in the modern city] without any hurry to transfer to the canvas. I let them rest in my brain and then, when I'm visited by the spirit of creation, I improvise my paintings just as a musician improvises his music.
- In: 'How I see New York', in 'The New York American', New York 30 March 1913, p. 11
- 'Udnie – I see Again in Memory my Dear Udnie' is no more the portrait of a young girl than 'Edtaonisl' (counterpart of his work 'Udnie'] is the image of a prelate, as we ordinarily conceive of them. They are [both] memories of America, evocations of over there which, subtly set down like musical chords, become representative of an idea, a nostalgia, a fleeting impression.
- In: 'Ecrits: vol. 1', 1913 - 1920, Picabia, Belfond, Paris, p. 26
- 'Udnie – I see Again in Memory my Dear Udnie' is the title of a painting, he made in 1913; a memory of the dances performed by Stasia Napierkowska on the ship to New York, to visit the w:Armory Show, where Picabia was presented in 1913 as a 'leading Cubist painter'
- Perhaps we'll be able to do beautiful things, since I have a stellar, insane desire to assassinate beauty.
- In a letter to Tristan Tzara, Summer 1919; as quoted in TaTa Dada: The Real Life and Celestial Adventures of Tristan Tzara, Marius Hentea, MIT Press, 12 Sep 2014, p. 151
- Splendid, it has done me enormous good to finally see and read something in Switzerland that isn't bullshit. All of it is very nice, it is really something; your manifesto expresses every philosophy seeking truth, when there is no truth, only convention.
- In a letter to Tristan Tzara, Nov. 1919, (after having received a copy of 'Manifesto Dada 3.', written by Tzara); as quoted in: TaTa Dada: The Real Life and Celestial Adventures of Tristan Tzara, Marius Hentea, MIT Press, 12 Sep 2014, p. 115
- The Cubists want to cover Dada with snow; that may surprise you, but it is so, they want to empty the snow from their pipe to bury DaDa.
Are you sure?
Positively sure, the facts are revealed by grotesque mouths. They think that Dada can prevent them from practicing this odious trade: Selling art expensively.
Art costs more than sausages, more than women, more than everything.
Art is visible like God (see Saint-Sulpice).
Art is a pharmaceutical product for imbeciles.
The table turns thanks to spirit; the paintings and other works of arts are like strong-box tables, the spirit is inside and becomes more and more
inspired according to the auction prices.
Farce, farce, farce, farce, farce, my dear friends.
- In 'DADA manifesto 1920'; as quoted in Manifesto: A Century of Isms, ed. Mary Ann Caws, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001, nr. 9.16 Francis Picabia, p 318
- FRANCIS PICABIA
is an imbecile, an idiot, a pickpocket!!!
He saved Arp from constipation!
The first mechanical work was created
by madam Tzara the Day she put
little Tristan into the world, however she
didn't know it
is an imbecilic Spanish professor
who has never been dada
FRANCIS PICABIA IS NOTHING
FRANCIS PICABIS likes the morality of idiots
Arp's binocle is Tristan’s testicle
FRANCIS PICABIS IS NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!
But Arp was Dada before Dada.
- In 'Manifesto, 1921'; as quoted in Manifesto: A Century of Isms, ed. Mary Ann Caws, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001, p 319
- It is not a recognisable scene [his two paintings 'Dances at the spring', 1912 - Picabia painted the motion and the excitement of a peasant dance while he was on his honeymoon in the countryside of Italy; one version is lost]. There is no dancer, no spring, no light, no perspective, nothing other than the visible clue of the sentiments I am trying to express.. .I would draw your attention to a song of colours, which will bring out for others the joyful sensations and feelings inspired in me on those summer days when I found myself somewhere in the country near the Italian border, where there was a spring in a wonderful garden. A photograph of that spring and that garden would in now way look like my painting 'Dance at a spring' I was shown for the first time at the w:Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1912.
- As quoted in Futurism, ed. Didier Ottinger; Centre Pompidou / 5 Continents Editions, Milan, 2008, p. 200
Quotes about Francis Picabia
- We [ Tristan Tzara and Jean Arp ] found him [Picabia in 1919, in his hotel in Zürich] busy dissecting an alarm-clock.. .Ruthlessly he slashed away at his alarm-clock down to the spring, which he pulled out triumphantly.. ..and soon impressed the wheels, the spring, the hands and other secret parts of the clock on pieces of paper. He tied these impressions together with lines and accompanied the drawing with comments of a rare wit far removed from the world of mechanical stupidity. He was creating antimechanical machines.. ..machines of the unconsciousness..
- Jean Arp (1919), in 'Chronique Zurichoise', 1915 – 1919, O.C. 1:562; as quoted in TaTa Dada: The Real Life and Celestial Adventures of Tristan Tzara, Marius Hentea, MIT Press, 12 Sep 2014, p. 115
- One does something for six months, a year, and one goes on to something else. That's what Picabia did all his life.
- Marcel Duchamp, as quoted in TaTa Dada: The Real Life and Celestial Adventures of Tristan Tzara, Marius Hentea, MIT Press, 12 Sep 2014, p. 121