DATE 3/30/2018

Inscrutable and disorienting: Rineke Dijkstra

DATE 3/29/2018

'Ice Cream Headaches' launch event at Pilgrim Surf

DATE 3/25/2018

Modern Women, Greta von Nessen

DATE 3/24/2018

Modern Women, going, going, strong

DATE 3/22/2018

Celebrate Women's History Month with 'Women in Trees'

DATE 3/21/2018

Delight, desire, surprise and trust: Design Is Storytelling

DATE 3/21/2018

Artbook @ MoMA PS1 and Mississippi Records launch 'Dead Moon: The Book' in the MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 3/21/2018

Mitch Epstein signing 'Rocks and Clouds' at Dashwood

DATE 3/20/2018

Alphonse Mucha was both the 'greatest decorative artist in the world' and a humanitarian philosopher

DATE 3/19/2018

A visual language meant to express beauty in 'Alphonse Mucha'

DATE 3/18/2018

BACK IN STOCK! Mina Stone: Cooking for Artists

DATE 3/17/2018

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a little Belfast Punk

DATE 3/16/2018

What is 'The Sausage of the Future'?

DATE 3/15/2018

The enigmatic, unreadable writings of Mirtha Dermisache

DATE 3/14/2018

Joyce J. Scott: "I skirt the borders between comedy, pathos, delight, and horror"

DATE 3/13/2018

Bringing boundless joy: Anna Zemánková

DATE 3/12/2018

Weird and beautiful: Anna Zemánková

DATE 3/11/2018

Singular, odd and inspiring: Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away

DATE 3/10/2018

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

DATE 3/10/2018

Mojos, mandalas and divining tools: Chris Martin

DATE 3/9/2018

Provocateurs of the human body in 'Klimt and Schiele: Drawings'

DATE 3/8/2018

Celebrate International Women's Day… 1975 to now!

DATE 3/7/2018

Celebrate Women's History Month with Marina Abramovic's rendition of 'The Ugly Duckling'

DATE 3/6/2018

Watch the Video Trailer for "Johnny Cash at Folsom and San Quentin: Photographs by Jim Marshall"

DATE 3/6/2018

René Magritte: The Revealing Image

DATE 3/5/2018

Chris Martin book launch at Spoonbill Studio

DATE 3/5/2018

Private entertainments or public show? Frida Kahlo: Her Photos

DATE 3/5/2018

SOM to launch 'The Future of Public Space' at the Strand

DATE 3/4/2018

Frida Kahlo's life in photographs

DATE 3/2/2018

Sheila Hicks: Knotting, wrapping, folding, twisting and stacking wool, linen, cotton and more

DATE 3/2/2018

The warp and weft of poetics in 'Sheila Hicks: Lifelines'

DATE 3/1/2018

Celebrate Women's History with brand new release, 'Sheila Hicks: Lifelines'

DATE 3/1/2018

Recommended Reading: Women's History Month

DATE 2/28/2018

In 'Ellen Gallagher: Accidental Records' radical aesthetic possibilities emerge from seismic cracks in the surface of things

DATE 2/28/2018

Robert Storr and Francesca Pietropaolo in conversation about 'Interviews on Art' at 192 Books

DATE 2/28/2018

Amy Sillman book event and 'Scarlet Street' screening at Metrograph

DATE 2/28/2018

'Entanglements: Plans and Accidents' at the Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 2/27/2018

Jack Whitten and the rock-bottom meaning of universality

DATE 2/27/2018

Brian Blomerth's 'XAK'S WAX' zine launch at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 2/26/2018

Black History as told through 'Black Dolls'

DATE 2/25/2018

Unsentimental Wonder: Hilton Als on Alice Neel

DATE 2/24/2018

Boom boxes, break dancing and the Salsa King: Black History from Jamel Shabazz

DATE 2/23/2018

Readings in Criticism with 'unbag' at the MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 2/23/2018

The meaning of color, both racial and painterly

DATE 2/22/2018

Swept up by a feeling of awe: Shinique Smith in 'Four Generations'

DATE 2/20/2018

Four Generations of 'Solidary & Solitary' work by artists of African descent

DATE 2/20/2018

Celebrate 60 years of Gerald Holtom's Peace Symbol with 'Jim Marshall: Peace'

DATE 2/19/2018

Reclaiming Images of Black Women in 'Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire'

DATE 2/19/2018

Symbols that call us into being: 'Beyond Mammy, Jezebel & Sapphire'

DATE 2/17/2018

Celebrate Black History with Mark Bradford

DATE 2/16/2018

Christian Wassmann book launch at Spoonbill Studio



Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

Originally produced as potential covers for André Breton's 1920s Surrealist literary journal, Littérature, the twenty-six subversive—at the time, even scandalous—Francis Picabia drawings that are collected in this remarkable new limited edition from Small Press Books had been sealed in an envelope (dated August 8, 1923) and forgotten for decades until Breton's daughter, Aube Breton-Elléouët, unearthed and exhibited them in 2008. Of the original group, only nine of these playfully insurgent works were actually published by Breton. According to a 1922 letter from fellow Dadaist Marcel Duchamp to Breton, American retailers considered Picabia's cover graphics far too salacious to be displayed on their newsstands. Thus Duchamp was forced to become the journal's only American micro-distributor, circulating it among likeminded friends until its demise in 1924.

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

In keeping with Dada's core "anti-art" principals, Picabia's uneasy black-and-white figurative drawings reject logic. They pun. And they brilliantly critique the conservative art and literature industries of the day. Many of the images present an erotic duality, the subject neither a he nor a she, neither human nor beast. Contrasting figure/ground relationships are distinctive in these drawings, as are a certain profane blend of religious iconography, eroticism and sly Surrealist humor.

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

Several of the drawings feature a simian creature, perhaps poking fun at the pretentious traditions of high art and those who associate with it. Is Picabia commenting on the monkey's identity as a common circus animal that plays out the commands of an audience without any original thoughts of its own? Perhaps, he is creating a parallel between the naturally unruly ape and the Dadaists themselves, who delighted in rebellion and irrationality.

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

Other drawings present tongue-in-cheek renderings of performers in submissive or humiliating positions, many of them bound, at the mercy of the viewer.

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

Double entendres arise. For example, in one drawing, Picabia breaks the title of the journal into two parts, each with its own meaning. Lits translates to "beds" in French, and ratures translates to "mistakes," or "erasures." Picabia connects these two ideas with a small heart-shaped et, meaning "and," between coy portraits of a man and a women circumscribed by the outline of the soles of a pair of men's shoes.

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

The only text that accompanies the suite of drawings gathered in Francis Picabia: Littérature is the elusive first chapter of the artist's "lost" novel, Caravansérail, translated for the first time from the French to the English by Lauren Elkin. Fragments of the text can be seen through eight circular voids cut from the monochromatic, linen-bound cover of the book, which is spectacularly devoid of any competing typography.

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

The design and pattern of the circular cut-outs derive from the dots on three faces of a die pictured in one of Picabia's cover drawings (below). An enticing design decision: not only does the reference to dice make a direct connection to the Surrealist art-making method where form is determined by chance or improvisation—the flip of a coin or the roll of the dice—but, of course, the cover has been die-cut, or diced, to reveal a collage of fragments of the text within. (It may also refer to Malarmé's revolutionary 1897 proto-Dadaist concrete poem, "Un Coup de Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard," which translates to: "A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance"). The design of the cover manages to balance both aspects of form and function, thoroughly materializing the enigmatic concept of Dada. Published in an edition of just 500 copies.

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

Founded in 2017 by writer and journalist Stephanie LaCava, SMALL PRESS is a New York City-based publisher of playful, knowing artist's books, artist's books for children, works in translation and lost classics. Beautifully made with attention to materializing the book as both story and art object, Small Press books are produced in editions of 500 as pense-bętes, remembrances of old times. Forthcomings titles include Pierre Klossowski's debut novel, The Suspended Vocation (1950), translated to English for the first time and reproduced alongside a portfolio of Klossowski's drawings; and Jose Saramago's only children's book, The Biggest Flower in the World, translated by Margaret Jul Costa.

BRIDGET MOREEN LESLIE (below) is an Australian born, NYC-based artist with a focus on installation, sound, light and writing. She is interested in collapsing spatial and psychological barriers between class, noise, time, fashion, location, and body language. She received her BFA from Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University, and her MFA from Parsons School of Design, New York.

Subversive, even scandalous: Francis Picabia: Littérature

All photographs of Francis Picabia: Litterature are by ANDI JANOFSKY.

Francis Picabia: Litterature

Francis Picabia: Litterature

Clth, 9 x 11.75 in. / 64 pgs / 1 color / 25 b&w.

$60.00  free shipping

DATE 11/19/2017




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