An iconoclastic poet and painter, open to everything that was "other" and different, responsive to any form of newness--not only in art but to such external realities as machines--Francis Picabia never needed to define himself as a "modern." "Sur-modern" rather than modern, he, like his early comrade Marcel Duchamp, was several years in advance of Dada and Surrealism and other avant-garde movements. A follower of nothing and no one, he, with Duchamp, was the true pioneer of modern art. A born innovator, he paid only a passing visit--and no artistic dues--to the avant-gardes of the day and anticipated all future forms of visual expression.
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