Francis Picabia

1879 (Paris) – 1953 (Paris)

An influential artist, not easily classifiable. Pissarro was an early acquaintance and influence. Laurencin and Braque were fellow-students, Laurencin reconnecting in Barcelona (where Miró met him before leaving for Paris). His close friend Apollinaire went to England with him, perhaps pursuing a woman. His lifelong friend Duchamp helped him publish a magazine; Léger, Gris, Gleizes and Metzinger were also met through Duchamp and his brothers. He collaborated with Satie and Clair, was exhibited by Stieglitz, and knew Tzara, Aragon and Breton via surrealist circles, later writing an anti-Breton manifesto. Richter compared meeting him to “the experience of death.”