1879 – 1953
Francis Picabia is a major figure of the Dada movement. He studied at the School of Decorative Arts. He supports his needs illegally—he makes counterfeit items from his father’s collection and sells them as originals. He is part of a group of cubists that includes Marcel Duchamp and Jean Metzinger, but when the group presents his works at the Armory, only Picabia is present, this earned him a solo exhibition at the Alfred Siegletz Gallery and led to the creation of many works such as Udnie (Jeune fille américaine, Danse) (1973) which will be on the cover of the New York Tribune. At that time he moved to New York, befriended Man Ray, became a devoted Dadaist, and went from colourful cubist paintings to representations of mechanical objects, like in Machine, Tournez vite (1928). In the early 1920s, he denounced the Dadaism that he abandoned for the surrealist movement then in full swing. «The world is divided into two categories: failure and the unknown », he said. He died on 30 November 1953 in Paris.