A true renaissance man, Francis Picabia may be counted among the greatest artists of the 20th century, yet his art deftly defies definition and classification. While he is perhaps best known for his contributions to the Dada movement, his output spans nearly every major prevailing aesthetic of the first half of the 20th century, including Impressionism, Surrealism, Abstraction and Realism, in many cases prefiguring and directly driving the future of visual art for generations to come. He also made significant contributions to performance art and poetry, all the while collecting stamps, cars and lovers everywhere he went. A self-proclaimed “beautiful monster,” Picabia led a hedonistic, dynamic life and never ceased to spin spectacular myths around his artwork. Earlier this year, a critically acclaimed retrospective of his work was held at Kunsthaus Zurich and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Click ahead for a selection of works to be offered on 17 May, which exemplify Picabia's affinity for varied artistic movements as well as his refusal to be bound by any one.
17 MayNew York