"Our heads are round so our thoughts can change direction" Francis Picabia, born on this day in 1879.
Among the great modern artists of the past century, Francis Picabia also remains one of the most elusive. He vigorously avoided any singular style, and his work encompassed painting, poetry, publishing, performance and film. Though he is best known as one of the leaders of the Dada movement, his career ranged widely—and wildly—from Impressionism to radical abstraction, from Dadaist provocation to pseudo-classicism, and from photo-based realism to art informel. Picabia’s consistent inconsistencies, his appropriative strategies, and his stylistic eclecticism, along with his skeptical attitude, make him especially relevant for contemporary artists, and his career as a whole challenges familiar narratives of the avant-garde.
Pic: Aello, 1930, oil on canvas. Text courtesy of MoMA.