Aello1930 by Francis Picabia

It is difficult to look at some of Picabia’s works from between the wars and not get the disturbing sense that he was depicting a culture in stasis, awaiting disaster. In his “Transparencies” of the late ’20s and early ’30s, men and women wearing somber expressions are painted in layers, creating dense tangles of images. These figures are borrowed from centuries of European art, as are other elements in the pictures, like plants, architecture, and the odd Lamb of the Apocalypse. The “Transparencies” are, perhaps, portraits of a psyche, illustrations of the myriad things that come to mind when one views another’s face. (
Click to select the cover image for this artwork.
Media: oil on canvas