51
51

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Francis Picabia
BAL NÈGRE
Estimate
1,200,0001,600,000
LOT SOLD. 1,808,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
51

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Francis Picabia
BAL NÈGRE
Estimate
1,200,0001,600,000
LOT SOLD. 1,808,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

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New York

Francis Picabia
1879 - 1953
BAL NÈGRE
Signed and dated Francis Picabia 1947 (lower right) and titled BAL NEGRE (top center)
Oil on panel
60 1/2 by 43 1/2 in.
153.5 by 110.5 cm
Painted in 1947.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné by the Picabia Committee.

Provenance

Estate of the artist

Dr. Jean Audouin, Paris (acquired circa 1980)

Dominique Kanga, Paris (sold: Sotheby's, London, June 28, 1989, lot 190)

Private Collection, France (acquired at the above sale)

Acquired from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

Sao Paulo, Museu de Arte Moderna, Do Figurativismo ao Abstracionismo, 1949, no. 75

Buenos Aires, Instituto de Arte Moderna, Arte Abstracto En Francia, 1949, no. 60

Brussels, Galerie Apollo, Picabia, 1950, no. 10

Marseille, Musée Cantini, Picabia, 1962, no. 63

New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Cincinnati, Art Museum; Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario and Detroit, Institute of Arts, Francis Picabia, 1970-71, no. 101

Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Francis Picabia, 1976, no. 235

Brussels, Musée d'Ixelles, Francis Picabia 1879-1953, 1983, no. 86

Takanawa, The Museum of Modern Art; Tokyo, The Seibu Museum of Art, Francis Picabia, 1984, no. 78

Madrid, Salas Pablo Ruiz Picasso; Barcelona, Fundació Caixa de Pensions, Francis Picabia 1879-1953, 1985, no. 158

Nîmes, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Francis Picabia, 1986, no. 124

Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Passions Privées, Collections particulières d'art moderne et contemporain en France, 1995-96, no. A25.5

Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Francis Picabia, singulier idéale, 2002-03

Literature

Art d'Aujourd'hui, no. 5, Paris, December 1949, illustrated

Michel Sanouillet, Picabia, Paris, 1964, mentioned pp. 59-60

Olga Mohler, Francis Picabia, Turin, 1975, illustrated p. 143

William A. Camfield, Francis Picabia, His Art, His Life and Time, Princeton, 1979, fig. 403, illustrated p. 271

Maria Lluîsa Borras, Picabia, Paris, 1985, no. 858, fig. 1053, illustrated p. 477

Serge Fauchereau, Picabia, Paris, 1996, illustrated on back cover

Alain Jouffroy, Picabia, Paris & New York, 2002, illustrated

 

Catalogue Note

Every Saturday night from 10 pm to dawn on Sunday, Picabia frequented the Bal Nègre, famous for its black dancers and music from Martinique, in the company of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Following the end of World War II and a brief period of internment, Picabia had emerged as a heroic figure from the first years of Dadaism to a younger generation of artists that included  Hans Hartung, Wols, Georges Mathieu and Michel Tapié. During this period two of his earlier masterpieces, Udnie and Edtaosnil, both of 1913, were very much on his mind as, after restoration the French museums acquired the former in 1949 and the latter was acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago. Paintings such as these, executed just before the provocative gestures of the Dada period, have been described as “unquestionably forerunners of the abstract movement that dominated the French art scene in the forties” (Maria Lluísa Borras, Picabia, 1985, p.452)

 

Bal Nègre is one of Picabia’s most striking works form the immediate post-war period, recalling in scale and theme his major canvases of the early teens but revamped with  staccato rhythms and strident colors that admirably convey the frenetic atmosphere of the night club.

Discussing this painting in his monograph on the artist, William Camfield writes, "Picabia and his closest friends gathered at that popular nightclub to enjoy the extraordinary Negro dancers and Martinique music, to drink, talk and observe all of Paris in attendance.  It was the memory of those evenings which he sought to re-create in the abstract forms, thrashing rhythms, bold colours and sensuous pigments of Bal Nègre." (William A. Camfield, op. cit., p. 271)

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

|
New York