Dances at the Spring
Francis Picabia
Dances at the Spring

Gallery I
French Paintings and Sculpture

In addition to the Nude, two of Duchamp's last paintings could be seen, The King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes and Portrait of Chess Players. By the end of 1912, Duchamp became disillusioned with painting, believing it only ever a trick of the hand (instead of the eye). The "cubist paintings" by Duchamp and Picabia (left) that received such recognition at the Armory Show were ironically some of the few works either artist created using this method of fragmentation. Both artists began dadist experiments soon after the show, first in France and then in New York, where they were warmly received thanks to their Armory Show reputations.

Picabia's Dances at the Spring (above) and Procession in Seville were considered so cryptically titled that one critic from the World magazine decided the former was unfinished and proceeded in assisting Picabia by elucidating the figures of the dancers. Hutchins Hapgood reported that the artist "was . . . indignant . . . [he] told me sadly that it was a forgery, that they had probably enlarged and reproduced a cut in one of the Paris papers, and then had 'touched it up,' inserted eyes and other material objects . . . I agreed with him that this was decomposed journalism" (Hapgood 50).

Picabia, who was in New York during the show, served as a spokesperson for the cubist movement as a whole. He explained the current impulse toward abstraction in a New York Times article, reprinted in the World and elsewhere: "The qualitative conception of reality can no longer be expressed in a purely visual or optical manner; and in consequence pictorial expression has had to eliminate more and more objective formulae from its convention in order to relate itself to the qualitative conception" (World 1). The World, convinced Picabia's statements were unintelligible to the general public, offered a prize of a cubist drawing by a member of its staff to anyone who could translate the piece.


View Gallery I

Gallery Map

Gallery Guide