It took a long time for me to finally appreciate the works by Picabia. Once known as “Papa Dada,” Francis Picabia was one of the principle figures of the Dadamovement both in Paris and New York. A friend and associate of Marcel Duchamp, he became known for a rich variety of work ranging from strange, comic-erotic images of machine parts to text-based paintings that foreshadow aspects of Conceptual art. Even after Dada had been supplanted by other styles, the French painter and writer went on to explore a diverse and almost incoherent mix of styles. He shifted easily between abstraction and figuration at a time when artists clung steadfastly to one approach, and his gleeful disregard for the conventions of modern art encouraged some remarkable innovations even later in his career, from the layered Transparency series of the 1920s to the kitsch, erotic nudes of the early 1940s. Picabia remains revered by contemporary painters as one of the century’s most intriguing and inscrutable artists.
on the excellent site THE ART STORY i found this text on the ideas of Picabia
In the 1910s, Picabia shared the interests of a number of artists who emerged in the wake of Cubism, and who were inspired less by the movement’s preoccupation with problems of representation than by the way the style could evoke qualities of the modern, urban, and mechanistic world. Initially, these interests informed his abstract painting, but his attraction to machines would also shape his early Dada work, in particular his Mechanomorphs – images of invented machines and machine parts that were intended as parodies of portraiture. For Picabia, humans were nothing but machines, ruled not by their rational minds, but by a range of compulsive hungers.
Picabia was central to the Dada movement when it began to emerge in Paris in the early 1920s, and his work quickly abandoned many of the technical concerns that had animated his previous work. He began to use text in his pictures and collages and to create more explicitly scandalous images attacking conventional notions of morality, religion, and law. While the work was animated by the Dada movement’s rage against the European culture that had led to the carnage of World War I, Picabia’s attacks often have the sprightly, coarse comedy of the court jester. They reflect an artist with no respect for any conventions, not even art, since art was just another facet of the wider culture he rejected.
Figurative imagery was central to Picabia’s work from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s, when he was inspired by Spanish subjects, Romanesque and Renaissance sources, images of monsters, and, later, nudes found in soft porn magazines. Initially he united many of these disparate motifs in the Transparency pictures, complexly layering them and piling them on top of each other to provoke confusion and strange associations. Some critics have described the Transparencies as occult visions, or Surrealist dream images, and although Picabia rejected any association with the Surrealists, he steadfastly refused to explain their content. Picabia always handled these motifs with the same playful and anarchic spirit that had animated his Dada work.
Picabia learned early on that abstraction could be used to evoke not only qualities of machines, but also to evoke mystery and eroticism. This ensured that abstract painting would be one of the mainstays of his career. He returned to it even in his last years, during which he attributed his inspiration to the obscure recesses of his mind, as he had always done.
www.ftn-books.com has some excellent publications on Picabia including the very special Ronny van de Velde publication PICABIA ( price upon request)
Luc Tuymans is probably one of the most interesting living artist of our times. Not only his art, but also his views on society are at least as fascinating.
Luc Tuymans (born 1958) is a Belgian contemporary artist, considered one of today’s most influential painters.
Tuymans was born in Mortsel, Belgium. He began to study fine art at the Sint-Lukas instituut in Brussels in 1976, and subsequently also studied art history at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels. He first exhibited in 1985. His first U.S. exhibition was at The Renaissance Society in Chicago in 1995.
Tuymans’ work is figurative and makes extensive use of techniques from photography, television and film, such as cropping, framing, sequencing and (sometimes extreme) close-ups. His palette usually tends toward monochrome. Subjects of his paintings range from the historic, for example covering the Holocaust or colonial politics in Belgian Congo, to the very banal, depicting everyday objects. Some of his paintings represent abstract emotions. For a while he abandoned painting completely to make films. Tuymans lives and works in Antwerp. Recently some of his work has been exhibited in “The Triumph of Painting” exhibition in the Saatchi Gallery in London.
Tuymans is married to a Venezuelan artist, Carla Arocha, recent exhibitions at the Chicago Institute of Art, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago and Andre Schlechtriem Gallery, New York.
But these are only the facts about Tuymans, Tuymans is much much more… His work was recently being discussed as being copied from another artist, but was this true or is it the interpretation from this artist of a very familiar photograph?.. He is very strongly opposed against the right wing Vlaams Belang and his leader Bart de Wever and makes this his personal crusade, but he also is a great thinker and influencer, because every discussion he starts makes you think about it. The same with his art. His drawings /paintings and graphic art are accessible and realistic, but in many cases they are not complete and one has to fill in the blanks yourself. For me that is what great art is all about.
Just a simple announcement today. At gallery Schoots + Van Duyse, Antwerp. There will be on the 18th of December the opening of the 3x Delft exhibition. All three artist (BOgart, Schoonhoven and Henderikse) have Delft in common. A fascinating exhibition because rarely these artists can be seen together in one venue. 18.12.2016 – 26.02.2017
For those of you who want to prepare themselves before going. Please take a look at www.ftn-books.com for publications on these artists.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20