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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Susan Dirk



Francis Picabia

French, 1879-1953

Picabia is an artist who has historically been associated with Dada and Surrealism, but his output is so wide-ranging and multifaceted that his modernist peers and observers often did not believe he was true to the cause. This work more faithfully fits within definitions of Surrealism, with its complex layering of contrasting imagery and text that defies easy explanation.

Oil on Upson board and Masonite
41 x 29 1/2 in. (104.2 x 74.9 cm)
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Provenance: [Zoe Dusanne Gallery, Seattle, Washington], acquired 1953 in Paris, until 1959; purchased from gallery by Seattle Art Museum, February 24, 1959, accessioned December 29, 1961
Photo: Susan Dirk
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Zoe Dusanne Gallery, [untitled exhibition of paintings by contemporary European and American artstis working in Paris], Jan. 1955.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Contemporary Trends in International Art, Apr. 7 - May 1, 1955.

Santa Barbara, California, Art Gallery, University of California, Surrealism: A State of Mind 1924–1965, 1966.

Washington, D.C., Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Twentieth Century Paintings from Washington State Collections, Sept. 18 - Oct. 30, 1966.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver Art Gallery, The Seattle Art Museum Lends, Mar. 13 - Apr. 11, 1976. No cat. no.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modern Art Pavilion, Tribute to Zoe Dusanne, Mar. 24 - May 8, 1977.

Spokane, Washington, Olin Gallery, Whitman College, School of Paris: The Twentieth Century, Dec. 1978 - Jan. 1979.

Düsseldorf, Germany, Stadtische Kunstalle Düsseldorf, Francis Picabia, Oct. 29 - Dec. 4, 1983 (Zürich, Switzerland, Kunsthaus Zürich, Feb. 3 - Apr. 25, 1984; Stockholm, Sweden, Moderna Museet Stockholm, Apr. 7 - May 27, 1984).

Madrid, Spain, Ministerio De Cultura Spain, Salas Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Francis Picabia Exposicion Antologica, Dec. 29, 1984 - Mar. 31, 1985 (Barcelona, Spain, Centre Cultural de la Caixa de Pensions, Apr. 15 - May 26, 1985 *Painting was lent but not exhibited).

Barcelona, Spain, Museu d'Art Contemporani, Avantguardes A Cataluyna 1906 - 1939, July 16 - Sept. 30, 1992.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Museum: Mixed Metaphors, Fred Wilson, Jan. 28 - June 13, 1993. Text by Patterson Sims. No cat. no., reproduced pp. 20-21.

Valencia, Spain, IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez, Maquinas Y Espanolas, Oct. 5 - Dec. 5, 1995.

Barcelona, Spain, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Agnus Dei, Romanesque Art in 20th Century, Dec. 13, 1995 - Mar. 10 1996.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, International Abstraction: Making Painting Real, May 2, 2003 - Feb. 29, 2004.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modern in Europe: Featuring Selections from the Collection of Gladys & Sam Rubinstein, Nov. 5, 2004 - April 17, 2005.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Abstract Visions, Aug. 6, 2021 - June 5, 2022 [on view Aug. 6, 2021 - Jan. 23, 2022].
Published ReferencesEl Esplendor Del Romanico, Obras Maestras Del Museu Nacional D'Art De Catalunya, Madrid, 2011; reproduced p. 81, fig. 65.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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