In the 1950s, American painter Philip Pearlstein completed his MA thesis, â€˜The Paintings of Francis Picabia 1908â€“1930â€™. When his research coincided with Picabiaâ€™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: â€˜The Symbolic Language of Francis Picabiaâ€™ for Arts magazine, 1956; â€˜Hello & Goodbye, Francis Picabiaâ€™ for Art News, 1970, and â€˜When the Dada Daddies Got Real; Or, How I Turned Picabia Inside Outâ€™ for Brooklyn Rail, 2017. Pearlsteinâ€™s articles present a fascinating comparison between Picabia, Duchamp and Pearlstein himself. Picabia Inside Out brings together Pearlsteinâ€™s articles in full, published in an illustrated paperback book with a facsimile of the 1955 MA thesis presented as an historical document showing all the nuances of his typewriter. A foreword by Robert Storr highlights the broader art historical context and Pearlsteinâ€™s importance as a precursor to what became known as postmodernism.
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