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Francis Picabia
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Artist
    (January 22, 1879-November 30, 1953)
    Born in Paris, France
    Birth name was Francois Marie Martinez Picabia
    Cubist, dadaist and surrealist painter
    Paintings include 'Star Dancer on a Transatlantic Steamer' (1913), 'La Petite Udnie' (1914), 'Machine Turn Quickly' (1918), 'Parade Amoureuse' (1919), 'La Sainte Verige' (1920), 'Hera' (1929) and 'Spring' (1942)
    Wrote 'Poems and Drawings of the Girl Born without a Mother' (1918)
    When he was fifteen, he financed his stamp collection by copying a collection of paintings his father owned, substituting the copies without his father's knowledge, and selling off the originals.
    During World War I, his family used their connections to keep him from being sent to the front by having him assigned to a mission to Cuba, which he abandoned during a stopover in New York.
    He lived mainly off of money inherited from his mother.
    He began sleeping with his future third wife, Olga Mohler, while she was governess to his children.
    After visiting America for the Armory Show of modern art (1913), he wrote, 'New York is the cubist city, the futurist city. It expresses modern thought in its architecture, its life, its spirit.'
    He was named a Knight of the Legion of Honour (1933).
    Gertrude Stein called him 'the Leonardo da Vinci of the [surrealist] movement.'
    On the eve of a major retrospective of his work, his apartment was robbed, leaving him in poverty (1949).

Credit: C. Fishel


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