<span class="chapeau">Francis Picabia's watercolor <i>Music Is Like Painting</i> will be included in the artist's upcoming traveling retrospective at Kunsthaus Zurich and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.</span><br><br> <div class="col m-4 auteur pull-left noclick"> <div class="inner"> <div class="white"> <a class="switch">Texte</a><br> <b>Lysandre Enanaa</b> </div> </div> </div><br> <br><br> <div class="col m-4"><span class="title">Francis</span><br><br> <span class="alinea"></span><span class="title">Picabia</span></div> <div class="col m-10 pull-right align-right"><span class="lieu">Kunsthaus<br></span> <span class="lieu">Zurich</span><br></div> <div class="clearfix"> <br><br><br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>Legend has it that Duchamp turned to Constantin Brancusi and Fernand Léger as they were strolling through the 1912 Aviation Show and, pointing to the display of an airplane propeller, declared: “Who’ll do anything better than that propeller?” Fascinated by mechanical progress, Duchamp embarked on his mechanistic style, borrowing from industrial design in a way that would prove highly influential to the avant-gardes of the 1910s. By giving their mechanomorphic works poetic or ironic titles, these artists were poking fun at the passion for all things mechanical advocated by their contemporaries, the Italian futurists. Without turning to the abstract or the figurative, these compositions rely on the cubist esthetic of the collage and anticipate Guillaume Apollinaire’s calligrammes and Dada’s iconoclasm. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>As early as 1913, Francis Picabia began to borrow details from machines, invent manufactured objects, and simplify diagrams taken from scientific journals. <i>Music Is Like Painting</i> is representative of the series of mecanomorphic works he created in New York and Barcelona between 1915 and 1917, the same period during which, encouraged by Man Ray and Duchamp, he launched the magazine <i>391</i>. In this work, diagrams of the radiation emitted by three radioactive atoms resemble sound waves, drawn on paper. These bright curves in every color of the rainbow represent painting and music’s twin capacities to stimulate the ear—physically—and the eye—metaphorically. Picabia suggests the possibility of a musical approach to abstraction, subjected to the relentless rhythm of machines: an idealized relationship between the iris and the eardrum, between art and music, and perhaps, as well, between the artist and his wife, the musician Gabrielle Buffet. <br><br> </div>
 
Francis PICABIA<br /><i>La musique est comme la peinture</i> — 1916 — India ink, gouache, and watercolor on cardboard — 122 × 66 cm
 

Pinault Collection

Pinault Collection Magazine - Issue #06

 

Pinault Collection

Archives