Untitled, painted circa 1937-1938, perfectly conveys Picabia’s incredible versatility as an artist. Picabia did much to define Dada in Paris and New York, and his reputation as one of the movement’s father figures has remained with him. But it is perhaps the spirit that the movement encouraged in him - his anarchic spirit and his disrespect for conventional abstract modern art - that has yielded his greatest legacy. The fact that Picabia worked in so many styles and techniques, and toward the end of his life did not seem to take any notice of distinctions between figurative and abstract, high and low, avant-garde and reactionary, does have a certain relevance to contemporary art making.
When painting Sans titre, Picabia made great use of his pictorial as well as plastic skills, adding layer upon layer of paint, to create a beautiful, thick surface that bears the artist’s distinctive, complex craquelure and manipulation of the varnish layer, which can be seen in several paintings of this period. Sans titre is a fine example of Picabia’s mastery of medium and reputation as a rigorous innovator.