top of page

Catalogue raisonné

Fonds Mercator, Partenaire du comité Picabia

We intend to publish four volumes, organized in chronological order. Their chronology is as follows: volume I (1898-1914), volume II (1915-1927), volume III (1927-1939), volume IV (1940-1953)

Works not included in the printed volumes will be considered for on-line publication.



The published volumes are available on Fonds Mercator website


Catalogue Raisonné volume III


This publication, the third in an important multi-volume catalogue raisonné of works by the French avant-garde artist Francis Picabia (1879–1953), includes paintings and selected drawings dating from mid-1927 through 1939. Innovative collage-paintings and flamboyant figural compositions known as “monsters” that dominated Picabia’s output in the mid-1920s gave way to new artistic directions during 1927. The most important of these was an exploration of the concept of transparency in many forms, first through the addition of new elements to his own pre-existing works, then through the elaboration of complex compositions, the so-called “transparencies,” superimposing outlined figures, animals, plants, and other motifs of various origins. However, Picabia’s characteristic refusal of stylistic consistency endured. His production during this period also encompassed imposing representational compositions with firmly contoured and solidly colored forms, thickly painted topographical landscapes, curvilinear abstractions, and, toward the end, photo-based figural paintings foreshadowing his notorious nudes of the early 1940s.



Catalogue Raisonné volume II



The second of an important multi-volume catalogue project, this publication features work by Francis Picabia (1879–1953) that dates from 1915 into mid-1927. Beginning with Picabia’s elaboration of a personal machinist aesthetic, the book continues by looking at the artist’s central role in the formulation of the Paris Dada movement. That irreverent movement included Picabia’s increasingly provocative mechanomorphic compositions, complemented by his unorthodox writings and graphic designs as well as socially powerful performances. The volume finishes with a look at Picabia’s creations of the mid-1920s, which included memorable collages and flamboyant figurative compositions known as the “monsters.”This catalogue raisonné offers scholarly readings of his work by major authors; illustrations of each work accompanied by informative details; a chronology; and a comprehensive list of exhibitions and publications.


Catalogue Raisonné volume I


Comité Picabia and Mercator fonds are glad to annonce the Catalogue Raisonné Francis Picabia Volume I (1898-1914).


This publication is the first volume of a planned four-volume catalogue raisonné of works by Francis Picabia, one of the most significant, challenging artists of the 20th century. Volume I ranges from Picabia’s early works in the late 1890s and his career as an impressionist to his cubist and abstract paintings of 1912-1914 which constitute landmarks in the history of modern art. This volume offers scholarly readings of his work; illustrations of eachwork, accompanied by informative details; a chronology, and comprehensive lists of exhibitions and publications.
Volumes II-IV will explore Picabia's fundamental role in Dada, followed by a variety of

figurative styles, and a returnto profoundly personal abstractart toward the end of his life.

An addendum is anticipatedfor paintings that emerge after publication of the initial

volumes and for the majority ofthe artist's works on paper.

Other publications


Prenez garde à la peinture...

Et à Francis Picabia!


Réalisation Rémy Ricordeau

After having, with his friend Marcel Duchamp, decreed the death of art, Francis Picabia has become an essential reference in the eyes of those interested in the history of modern art and its relationship to freedom.


"Our head is round to allow thought to change direction," he said. We must take his humor seriously: the coherence of his approach lies indeed in his insatiable curiosity and his immoderate taste for speed and play, this desperate desire for life that has not accommodated any conformism or no other rule than the desire to experiment everything.


If he was also a writer, poet, and automobile lover, life in all his excesses was in his eyes preferable to his work; and the game of passions to the morbidity of dogmatisms.


This film aims to retrace the life of Francis Picabia by highlighting the importance of his singularity in the intellectual and artistic history of the 20th century.

album OP.jpg
album OP.jpg

Album Picabia

This is not a family album. Nor a catalogue raisonné. It's, above all, an album dé-raisonné, the collage of a life discreetly annotated by is author. 

It is the reproduction of Olga Molher Picabia's world, based on her mentor and great love, Francis Picabia. 

A variation on the theme of Pygmalion, it offers an intimate and sensitive intaglio portrait of the artist, sometimes surprising and often depply moving, as seen through Olga's eyes.

Couv AV.jpg

Aujourd'hui pense à moi

Francis Picabia, Ego, Image

Aurélie Verdier - Les presses du réel

« I am nothing, I am Francis Picabia. » In this tension between exaltation and rejection of the self the artist signalled his position within modernity. His refusal of collective action expressed itself during the First World War in an oeuvre focused neither on history nor on formal problems, but on the self. The present study articulates the ego, a conceptual figure of the avant-garde, along the lines of Sigmund Freud's 1915 analysis of melancholy, understood as a pathological imitation of mourning and as a loss of self. The project, in tracking Picabia's key gestures, seeks to revise some of the best established certitudes about the artist - the refusal of repetition, for example, or the taste for contradiction - in order to reconsider the ego as a crucial actor in the modern history of forms, producing its own ruptures. The first section, extending from the orphic period of 1913 to the maximalist painting of 1924-1927 known as the Monstres, analyzes the portrait, the stain, and the proper name as three « objects of the self» breaking with traditional representation of the subject and authorial codes. A second section examines three examples of the painter's procedure : first, the omnipresence of the round form in his oeuvre as the sign of an uncertain self is paired with another circularity, that attributed to melancholy and mania. Next, the ambivalent relation of Picabia to Picasso is envisaged as an alternative to the idea of influence. Finally, and decisively, the artist's covert re-use of mechanical images led to his reactional response to the threat of a mechanization of art explicitly disavowed by Picabia but present everywhere in the work.

bottom of page