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FROM THIS EPISODE

In an era of fake news and alternative facts, what is the role of literature that blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction? Novelist Lynne Tillman has figured out one possible role. She’s been writing art criticism for more than three decades, including criticism starring a fictional character named Madame Realism—a name that is itself a retort to the way women artists were marginalized and made invisible within the Surrealist movement. Tillman’s Madam Realism stories encompass not only art itself but also the reactions that art inspires in the viewers around her character, as well as how the museum itself curates a viewing experience. In this episode, Tillman and writer Adam Colman visit the MoMA to discuss, in Tillman’s associative way, an exhibit on French avant-garde artist Francis Picabia. Their conversation takes them from the birth of the avant-garde to the squareness of Paris to institutional critique until they are finally kicked out of the museum by security.

In this episode you’ll also hear Organist fan fiction from Moira Cassidy (as read by Garrett Stewart).

Feature photo: Francis Picabia.  Optophone [I]. 1922. Ink, watercolor, and pencil on board, 28 3/8 × 23 5/8″ (72 × 60 cm). Kravis Collection. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: The Museum of Modern Art, John Wronn.


Francis Picabia (French, 1879–1953). Très rare tableau sur la terre (Very Rare Picture on the Earth). 1915. Oil, metallic paint, pencil, and ink on board, with gold and silver leaf on wood, in a wood frame possibly constructed by the artist, 49 5/8 x 38 9/16 x 2 3/16″ (126 x 98 x 5.5 cm), with frame. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 1976. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris


Francis Picabia. Tableau Rastadada (Rastadada Painting). 1920. Cut‑and‑pasted printed paper on paper with ink, 7 1/2 × 6 3/4″ (19 × 17.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller by exchange. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: The Museum of Modern Art, Peter Butler


Francis Picabia (French, 1879–1953). La Nuit espagnole (The Spanish Night). 1922. Enamel paint on canvas, 63 x 51 3/16″ (160 x 130 cm). Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Ludwig Collection. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: © Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln


Francis Picabia. Espagnole (Espagnole à la cigarette) (Spanish Woman [Spanish Woman with Cigarette]). 1922. Watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper, 28 3/8 × 20 1/16″ (72 × 51 cm). Private collection. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo courtesy Mercatorfonds


Francis Picabia (French, 1879–1953). Les Amoureux (Après la pluie) (The Lovers [After the Rain]). 1925. Enamel paint and oil on canvas, 45 11/16 x 45 1/4″ (116 x 115 cm). Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: © Musée d’Art Moderne/Roger-Viollet

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction


Francis Picabia. Untitled (Espagnole et agneau de l’apocalypse [Spanish Woman and Lamb of the Apocalypse]). 1927/1928. Watercolor, gouache, ink, and pencil on paper, 25 9/16 × 19 11/16″ (65 × 50 cm). Private collection. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: Stephan Wyckoff


Francis Picabia. Le Clown Fratellini (Fratellini Clown). 1937–38. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 × 28 3/4″ (92 × 73 cm). Private collection. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris


Francis Picabia. Aello. 1930. Oil on canvas, 66 9/16 × 66 9/16″ (169 × 169 cm). Private collection. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris


Francis Picabia. L’Adoration du veau (The Adoration of the Calf). 1941–42. Oil on board, 41 3/4 × 30″ (106 × 76.2 cm). Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne – Centre de création industrielle, Paris. Purchase with assistance from the Fonds du Patromonie, the Clarence Westbury Foundation, and the Societé des Amis du Musée national d’art moderne, 2007. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo: © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Philippe Migeat/Dist. RMN–Grand Palais/Art Resource, New York.


Francis Picabia. La Révolution espagnole (The Spanish Revolution). 1937. Oil on canvas, 63 3/4 × 51 3/16″ (162 × 130 cm). Private collection. Courtesy Dominique Lévy Gallery and Michael Werner Gallery. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo courtesy Archives Comité Picabia

CREDITS

Producers:
Ross Simonini
Andrew Leland

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