PUBLISHER
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 12 in. / 368 pgs / 500 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2016 p. 9   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781633450035 TRADE
List Price: $75.00 CDN $95.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Zurich, Switzerland
Kunsthaus Zurich, 06/03/16–09/25/16

New York
The Museum of Modern Art, 11/21/16–03/19/17

MoMA's major reassessment of Picabia powerfully asserts an artist's freedom to change

Poetry, theatre, collage and painting: Picabia constantly changed his format, appropriating motifs and media. The sense of freedom he felt to constantly rebuild was magnificent…. Authorship isn’t a right; it’s a discursive notion.

Philippe Parreno
Frieze

  

THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

Edited with text by Anne Umland, Cathérine Hug. Text by George Baker, Carole Boulbès, Masha Chlenova, Michèle C. Cone, Briony Fer, Gordon Hughes, David Joselit, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Bernard Marcadé, Arnauld Pierre, Juri Steiner, Adrian Sudhalter, Aurélie Verdier.

"Volucelle [II]" 1923, is reproduced from <I>Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction</I>.

By rejecting consistency, Picabia powerfully asserted the artist's freedom to change

Irreverent and audacious, restless and brilliant, Francis Picabia achieved fame as a leader of the Dada group only to break publicly with the movement in 1921. Moving between Paris, the French Riviera, Switzerland, and New York, he led a dashing life, painting, writing, yachting, gambling, racing fast cars, and organizing lavish parties. Like no other artist before him, Picabia created a body of work that defies consistency and categorization, from Impressionist landscapes to abstraction, from Dada to stylized nudes, and from performance and film to poetry and publishing. A primary constant in his career was his vigorous unpredictability.

Illustrated with nearly 500 reproductions, this sweeping survey of Picabia's eclectic career embraces the challenge of his work, asking how we can make sense of its wildly shifting mediums and styles. In her opening essay, curator Anne Umland writes that with Picabia, familiar oppositions "between high art and kitsch, progression and regression, modernism and its opposite, and success and failure are undone."

In 15 superb essays, additional authors—including distinguished professors George Baker, Briony Fer, and David Joselit and renowned Picabia scholars Carole Boulbès and Arnauld Pierre—delve into the radically various mediums, styles, and contexts of Picabia's work, discussing his Dada period, his abstractions, his mechanical paintings, his appropriations of source imagery, his multifaceted relationship with print (both in his paintings and as a publisher and contributor to vanguard journals), his forays into screenwriting and theater, and his complex politics. Marcel Duchamp, of course, but also Nietzsche and Gertrude Stein make repeat appearances along the way.

Turning to Picabia's contemporary legacy, Cathérine Hug maps the history of his critical reception and interviews contemporary curators and artists, including Peter Fischli, Albert Oehlen, and David Salle. A lively 30-page chronology illustrated with archival photographs and ephemera gives readers a year-by-year account of the artist's colorful life and of his interactions with fellow artists and critics, friends, and lovers.

Together these essays suggest that the unruly genius of Picabia offers us a powerfully relevant and provocative alternative to the familiar narrative of modernism.

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round So Our Thoughts Can Change Direction accompanies the major 2016 exhibition on the artist, jointly organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Kunsthaus Zürich.

Francis Picabia was born in 1879 in Paris, the only child of a Cuban-born Spanish father and a French mother. His first success came as a painter in an Impressionist manner. He went on to become one of the principle figures of the Dada movement in New York and Paris. In 1925 Picabia moved to the south of France, where he lived and worked through World War II. Following the war, Picabia returned to Paris, where he died in 1953.


Anne Umland is the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Cathérine Hug is Curator, 20th Century Art at the Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland.

"Volucelle [II]" 1923, is reproduced from Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Aargauerzeitung

Sabine Altorfer

Francis Picabia: abrupt changes, wild jumps, adventurous curves… finally, an endeavor aimed at revealing the whole Picabia.

Time Magazine

The idiosyncratic French artist was an outlier on the royal road of 20th century modernism, and an interesting one.

The New York Times

Roberta Smith

Picabia's wit, use of language and found imagery, adn his style changes, make him a precursor not just of Pop Art but of Post-Modernist painting.

Art News

Experimenting first with Impressionism, then Pointillism, and then Cubism and Dada, Francis Picabia (1879–1953) made himself impossible to categorize.

The New York Review of Books

Alfred Brendel

...comprehensive and sumptuous...

The New Yorker

Andrea K. Scott

An avant-gardist par excellence...chameleonic...

The New York Times

Roberta Smith

He made important contributions to both Cubist painting and its nemesis, Dada, with its art-barbed hijinks, and refused to cultivate a personal style that deepened with time. Instead he toyed with kitsch and calendar art, and based paintings on found photographs. When he returned to abstraction at the end of his life, he tried several styles. But lately — when multiple mediums and styles are increasingly the artistic norm — Picabia’s stature has grown. His work seems more alive today than that of any artist of his cohort, even Duchamp.

Art News

Andrew Russeth

...presents the full range of Picabia’s practice—as a painter, a poet, a letter writer, a party planner, and (not least) an insatiable gadabout—but more than that, it definitively establishes him as one of the key artists of the past 100 years, a figure whose influence, at once comic and manic and dark, continues to reverberate.

WNYC News

Deborah Solomon

...A sort of hero for postmodernism...

CULTURED

Paul Laster

A leading light of the Dada movement... visually anticipating the Pop, Conceptual and Postmodern art movements

The New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

crackles with immediacy, popping free of its time to wink at the present

Arteidolia

Daniel Barbiero

Picabia’s fundamental comportment or attitude of refusal—of ironic negation—was the constant running through the early and late work, just as it was the constant running through his life...underneath this apparent indifference is the unmistakable echo of a reflexive negation, the constant assertion of a “no” resounding in a self-chosen void.

Artforum, Best of 2016

Daniel Birnbaum

The pluralist of pluralists produced some masterpieces and more unbelievably ugly paintings than any other artist in the twentieth century - besting even Sigmar Polke and Martin Kippenberger - and I cannot stop myself from loving them all.

The Art Newspaper

David Salle

Picabia found the right container for his instincts. Those paintings make me deliriously happy; they sing. It’s amazing they exist.

The New York Times

Albert Mobilio

From his earliest Impressionist efforts, through Cubist, Dadaist, Surrealist and realist work… Picabia shifted fluidly with the cultural moment, all the while vigorously denouncing the style he’d just left behind…With copious illustrations and 16 essays, this hefty catalog for the current retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art attempts to chart a zigzag career that made up in energy what it lacked in depth of exploration.

New York Magazine

Rachel Corbett

The 10 Best Art Books of 2016

The Art Newspaper

Kenneth Goldsmith

The French avant-garde artist's work was prescient about our era of 'post-truth' politics and culture.... He specializes in disinformation and is the early Modernist embodiment of 'post-truth'.

The New York Review of Books

Sanford Schwartz

..not many historical figures have seemed as ripe [as Picabia] not only for reevaluation, but simply to have her or his work seen fully.

The New York Times

The restless career of one of the great provocateurs of early modernism finally gets its due from MoMA, healthfully perturbing that institution’s emphasis on linear progress and creative genius with radically shifting styles and tones.

Artforum

Robert Pincus-Witten

A group of absurdly delightful paintings.

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYONLDS | DATE 11/20/2016

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

The blockbuster international traveling retrospective Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction opens tomorrow at MoMA, and with it comes an exemplary exhibition catalog, illuminating via 15 scholarly essays and 500 magnificent reproductions, what Marcel Duchamp called the "kaleidoscopic series of art experiences" that comprised his life-long friend's career. Picabia's work "ranges widely and wildly, from painting to publishing, representation to abstraction, seduction to repulsion, encompassing as well writing, theater, film, and the organization of elaborate fetes and galas," in the words of MoMA curator Anne Umland. "Picabia's oeuvre testifies to the artist's lifelong success in inventing new selves, only to consign them repeatedly to oblivion." What better artist for the current moment? Featured image is "Très rare tableau sur la terre (Very Rare Picture on the Earth)" (1915). A Staff Pick Holiday Gift Book for 2016. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/18/2016

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction, Women with Bulldog

Francis Picabia's Occupation-era "Femmes au bull-dog (Women with Bulldog)" was painted around 1941, during the "murkiest period" of the artist's career, according to art historian Michèle C. Cone. Based on French soft-core pornography of the 1930s, Picabia's figurative paintings of the war years, "have been placed under many labels: antimodernist, postmodern, 'aura-less' modernism, and… pseudo-Nazi kitsch." Regardless, they were admired in their time by Gertrude Stein, and today they look fresher than ever in the landmark retrospective opening at MoMA on Monday. An exceptional book in all ways, this Picabia exhibition catalog is one of our top Holiday Gift Staff Picks for 2016. Read Roberta Smith's review in the New York Times or listen to Deborah Solomon on WNYC. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 11/19/2016

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction, Udnie

"What I like is to invent, to imagine, to make of myself at every moment a new man, and then, to forget him, to forget everything." So wrote Francis Picabia, subject of the major MoMA retrospective opening on Monday—the first large-scale exhibition of this profoundly innovative, shape-shifting, yet largely unknown artist's work in the United States since 1970. Featured image is the nearly 10x10-foot painting, "Udnie (Young American Girl; Dance)" from 1913, which definitively surpasses the limits of Cubist easel painting, according to essayist George Baker. To see more of our holiday gift book favorites for 2016, continue to our Holiday Gift Guide. continue to blog


FRANCIS PICABIA MONOGRAPHS + ARTIST'S BOOKS

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

FRANCIS PICABIA: OUR HEADS ARE ROUND SO OUR THOUGHTS CAN CHANGE DIRECTION

THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

ISBN: 9781633450035 | US $75.00

Pub Date: 7/26/2016
Active | In stock


Transparence: Calder Picabia

TRANSPARENCE: CALDER PICABIA

Text by George Baker, Arnauld Pierre.

HATJE CANTZ

ISBN: 9783775740524 | US $95.00

Pub Date: 2/23/2016
Active | In stock


Francis Picabia

FRANCIS PICABIA

Edited by Hans-Peter Wipplinger. Text by Zdenek Felix, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Rainer Metzger, Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Stephanie Damianitsch.

WALTHER KöNIG, KöLN

ISBN: 9783863352233 | US $47.50

Pub Date: 10/31/2012
Out of print | Not Available


Francis Picabia: Late Works 1933-1953

FRANCIS PICABIA: LATE WORKS 1933-1953

Artwork by Francis Picabia. Edited by Zdenek Felix. Contributions by Roberto Orth.

HATJE CANTZ PUBLISHERS

ISBN: 9783775707213 | US $55.00

Pub Date: 5/2/1998
Out of print | Not Available




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