FRANCIS PICABIA (1879-1953)
FRANCIS PICABIA (1879-1953)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
FRANCIS PICABIA (1879-1953)

Untitled

Details
FRANCIS PICABIA (1879-1953)
Untitled
signed 'Francis Picabia' (lower right)
oil on cardboard
23 7/8 x 19 1/2 in. (60.5 x 49.5 cm.)
Painted circa 1942-1943
Provenance
Anonymous sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, 18 June 1971, lot 93.
Galerie Jade, Colmar, by 1981.
Private collection, by whom acquired from the above; sale, Sotheby’s, London, 27 June 2001, lot 283.
Galerie Haas, Berlin, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2001.
Literature
M.L. Borràs, Picabia, London, 1985, no. 783, p. 532 (illustrated fig. 959, p. 440; titled 'Portrait of a Little Girl' and catalogued as 'oil on wood').
W.A. Camfield, B. Calté, C. Clements & A. Pierre, Francis Picabia, Catalogue raisonné, vol. IV, 1940-1953, New Haven & London, 2022, no. 1825, p. 284 (illustrated p. 285).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Further details
The Comité Picabia has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Imogen Kerr
Imogen Kerr Vice President, Senior Specialist, Co-head of 20th Century Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Picabia's portrait of a young woman, shows the sitter in a state of contemplation, her wistful eyes looking away as she holds her head in her hand. The combination of flickering warm light and rosy cheeks suggest that she is warming herself by a fire, not visible to the viewer, situated below the painting's edges.

This work forms part of a series of female portraits undertaken by Francis Picabia at the start of the 1940s, which although stylistically naturalistic, also often contained elements which evoked the illustrations of Pulp magazines, toying with notions of kitsch and mass media through the fine art medium of oil paintings. Much of his source material for this series was derived from photographs sourced in magazines, publicity material or postcards. A certain irreverence towards the classical canons of beauty, whilst snubbing current artistic sensibilities, became the controversial hallmark of Picabia’s style. This unique and radical approach which called into question the very definitions of ‘art’ and ‘beauty’ would nonetheless have important repercussions on the art of the 20th Century, in particular paving the way for the Pop art movement.

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