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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Sans titre

Sans titre
signed 'Francis Picabia' (lower left)
oil on canvas
28 ¾ x 23 ½ in. (73.2 x 59.8 cm.)
Painted circa 1937-1938
Acquired in Antibes in 1945, and thence by descent to the present owner.
W. A. Camfield, B. Calté, C. Clements & A. Pierre, Francis Picabia, Catalogue raisonné, vol. III, 1927-1939, New Haven & London, 2019, no. 1465, p. 378 (illustrated, pp. 378 & 379).
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.

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Annie Wallington
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Lot essay

The artistic career of Francis Picabia is a kaleidoscopic series of experiences. These barely appear to be related to one another from the outside, but they are all strongly marked by a strong personality. Throughout his fifty year-long œuvre, Picabia has consistently avoided carrying any labels …he has the perfect tool: a tireless imagination.

Marcel Duchamp

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.

Lot Essay Header Image: Present lot illustrated (detail).

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