November 28, 2016

Old mediocrities / are fashionable / new ones too

Apropos of the Picabia show at MoMA, Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction
Through March 19, 2017
. I feel fortunate to have seen the Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia exhibition in 2008 at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona (originating from the Tate Modern). A great catalog. A must-read prior to seeing the show at MoMA. You can find it here.

Reading editor Jennifer Mundy's essay, "The Art of Friendship", Picabia's poem jumped out at me. It was written towards the end of his life:

Perhaps I have made
painting ill
but what a pastime
to be a doctor

tomorrow I shall count on painting
to be my doctor [...]

Everything I do hurts my own interests
I don't know any other way
of dealing with myself

The profound mediocrity
of painters
depresses me

Old mediocrities
are fashionable
new ones too

Knowing my strength
I am tolerant of myself
and nothing is forbidden to me anymore

I have felt painting
as an object of passion
my paintings are acts of love
that's my way of working

-Francis Picabia, Oui Non 1953
Francis Picabia, Ecrits II:1921-1953
et posthumes, ed. Olivier Revault
d'Allones and Dominique
Bouissou, Paris 1978, p.342.

Posted by Dennis at November 28, 2016 4:01 PM

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