Francis Picabia | Surrealist Painter

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 22:43 PM EDT, 4 October 2010

Surrealist painters hold a strange fascination for many including me.  This post features the work of Francis Picabia who painted in a wide range of styles from realism to abstraction.

Picabia produced a large body of work inhabited by biomorphic forms and geometric abstraction  in landscape colors of Impressionism.  Like other Impressionist artists he often used thick paint to build up a broad abstract background.

In the post-war period, Picabia became associated with the Existentialists and the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, who was aligned to Communism.  He later left this circle and movement because of its pessimism preferring the group headed by Surrealist writer Georges Bataille, with is revival of interest in Nietzsche.  At this time he swung between fits of gloom and periods of intense creativity.  As Marcel Duchamp remarked, Picabia was a tireless worker who possessed the perfect tool: an indefatigable imagination.  Source: Tim Martin.  Essential Surrealists (Parragon Publishing Book, 2001). p. 76


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