Picabia Inside Out

Philip Pearlstein


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Publisher: Heni Publishing
Serial Number:9781912122646
Format: Paperback
Pages: 296 pages
Size: 240 x 170 mm
Date: 2023


In the 1950s, American painter Philip Pearlstein completed his MA thesis, ‘The Paintings of Francis Picabia 1908–1930’. When his research coincided with Picabia’s death in 1953, Pearlstein became the authority on the work of Picabia and his influence in European modernism that set the stage for modern art in America. Of course, it is impossible to discuss Picabia without also considering the work of Marcel Duchamp.

At different intervals in his career, Pearlstein wrote three subsequent essays on Picabia for major arts journals: ‘The Symbolic Language of Francis Picabia’ for ARTS magazine, 1956; ‘Hello & Goodbye, Francis Picabia’ for ARTnews, 1970, and ‘When the Dada Daddies Got Real; Or, How I Turned Picabia Inside Out’ for Brooklyn Rail, 2017. Pearlstein’s articles present a fascinating comparison between Picabia, Duchamp and Pearlstein himself.

Picabia Inside Out brings together Pearlstein’s articles in full, published in an illustrated paperback book with a facsimile of the 1955 MA thesis presented as an historical document showing the nuances of his typewritten manuscript. A foreword by Robert Storr highlights the broader art historical context and Pearlstein’s importance as a precursor to what became known as postmodernism.