Lot 13
  • 13

Francis Picabia

100,000 - 150,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Francis Picabia
  • Les deux Masques
  • signed Francis Picabia (lower right)
  • oil on cardboard laid down on panel
  • 18 7/8 x 15 7/8 in.


Art Contemporain, Paris
Private collection, Paris


Nice, Musée d'art moderne et d'art contemporain, Picabia et la Côte d'Azur, 1991, no. 73, illustrated in the catalogue p. 106
Gijón, Palacio Revillagigedo, Centro internacional de Arte, Picabia entre guerras, 1991, no. 60, illustrated in the catalogue p. 98

Catalogue Note

Picabia spent most of the year 1938 in the South of France, aboard the Horizon III and the Yveline with Olga (Mohler). A year before the “sun does not set/that everything becomes suspect/ that everything becomes older” (Picabia, about the World War in Poèmes de Dingalari), he seems to have enjoyed a period of relative personal stability. This followed a year of crisis involving his break up with Germaine (Everling) and the long complexity of the fluctuating relationships between Germaine and Olga who joined the family circle in 1925 as governess.

After the Transparences, which doubtless reflect the confused feelings of this period, Picabia committed himself to the Dimensionism movement. A refuge from a motley avant-garde intrigued by the new concepts of space-time derived from Einstein’s theories, Dimensionism aspired to the advent of an absolutely new art: an art where the four dimensions of space incorporate the frame of the painting.

Following the Portrait de Marlène Dietrich (1938) where the spatial construction is more superficial, Les deux masques is probably the most perfect example of a plunge into unfathomable dimensions. If the interlocked faces emerging from the black depths can be seen as that of a man and a woman, then the plunge is all the more vertiginous and beautiful.