Newspaper Page Text
MARCH il. 1913.
? PQSKUBIBTt? PPROTS DF NEWYQRK
M. Francois Picabia, of Paris, at The 1 ribune's Invitation,
Fares Forth into New York's Highways and Makes
a Mental Collection of Impressions of the Great
City of the Western World?The Moods
Which These Impressions Cause He Ex?
presses Here in Line and Form.
O ni; of UM m'? i widely dtooaaawd
reign palatara reproaented at
hit' rnational F.xhlbition of
?? :i. at the ?J.'th Regiment Arm
?r>. s M. Fran?ois PIcabia, of Tari.-.
M? i i al i?i?s'iit in thin city, and
?OS?! to exnnd his Brat visit to
Hew Yorb till tba and of the present
month, if not ley.-ii'l it. because there is
?e.j in"? n to km tM r?, an?J?he Insists upon
this partiei'.arly-he lind? here so many
men ai.d women who are seriously inter?
ested in the theori.^s, the practice and
the alms of the different modern patatera
whose activities are somewhat loosely
and all too comprehensively daactibad aa
?'po?t-im^re6sionlsm.', The term itself, so
M. Plca'r.la says. Is practically unknown
In Frauce. but he has accepted II as suf?
ficient unto its purpose, which is that of
clear and ready first classification. M.
Picabla'B painting, *%A\ Danse a la
Source." shown at the armory exhibition,
It is WOrtb while chronicling, bus been
bought by a prominent American col?
lector, and will not be returned to Fran?-,?.
The prOtttO I? most likely the first can?
vas of the ultra-moderns to find a perma?
nent pla^e in America.
M. Picabia, it may be added, has always
?old, Just as he has always painted. He
began to handle brushes and colors at the
sge of fourteen; he exhibited at the salon
of the Artistes Fran?ais nnd at the Balon
d'Automne before lie waa seventeen. He
1?) a soci?taire of both these artistic
bodies r.ow, and the French government
has purcha>fl one of his earli*-r painting.?
for the Luxembourg, and others, and en?
gravings of the Midi, for the Petit Palais.
Twelve year?-, ato b? was an impression
is?; his cvolitio.? was gradual and, as
lie win prove to whoever will listen to
him, logical. 11?? talks well, with true
l^reneh clearme- of Litas an 1 their ex?
pression, iti the. rlagfMt of modern lan?
guages, in which there eaa !>'? M misun?
derstanding <>f meantnga. >n<l he talks
with entbuMi-f-t?. coiitI itdoft,
Mme Pleabta, who ;< ?companies her
husband on hla l-?t to M, Is as thOTOUgtl
a believer in hi the? rtea gad tin: ultl
mate acci-nt-m? ? ? I lb? now departure In
painting as be is i ??.,,-.-if. gha eaa dte
'Ourse upon |:?(?,? g| ?.loquently as he,
and ?artA ti,Ht prerea her full
toatandlng of, ?aa aroU aa bot thorough
?yaapatl r wit!? tba movement in its arid
' ? yr-faim bus, nior?o\er, the
Bdvaatagja ??r being able to dis? ?uns? "f
"oott-imr?ie?fjioi:lsin " In exceptionally
fluent EngMab an?) Qormaa. Her took?
meal VDcabolanr la both tbaaa lauguag?-?
? raBaarkaMp large, and always raadlly
?t bar cottunand. So far aa propaganda is
?teMarood, she literally toauatag her hus?
bands re?our?e*i, and Is In constant de?
mand where the obstacle of a foreign lan
gu-iic? Uiraateaa to brtag Bdaoadatalaad?
big or at least non-?omprehenslon. Mme.
Pleat-fa?, l>v tlM way, la a grand niece of
th* ^reat Fren? h poet LaBBarttao,
IMPRESSIONS OF NEW YORK.
'the Tribune pi events to-day to its read?
er? the ?rut "post-lmpresslonistlc" ptetorap
of New York ever made. M. Picabia made
?hern at the invitation of the paper, and
thereby hangs a story. The plan, as out?
lined by the ?Sunday editor of The Trib
"ne, provided for pi? tures by tho French
painter of certain characteristic features of
the .city's ?jutward appearane-e and life?
tho ?xpresslon of his Impression of a sky
acraiier, ol the beauty of our City Hall,
of the daily afternoon appuaranc? of I
cock Alle)*, of Hi?- nsounted i oil ?
Fifth avenu?? ?and oath street, hla In
and the majesty of th? traft!? regulan
behind hiin, one ? f tha beat known figu
in the city's street life, already celebra
hy an American artist. Thua opportui
wculd have heen given for direct i-omp
ison between the ?.Id an?l tie- n. w
p-*Jntlng, and this pari of the prograrn
wa8 to l?nvt: tie?,, ?atrrled stui forth? ;
a Picabia portrait of a i?...l?| mi
known to the whole country by our Uli
ttators. and, poaalbljr, by a **?oet?lmpr
slonlst picture of a ?-?tuple ?t caba
dancera. It was a WCTthy s?h. me, bu
M. Plcahla explained.
SUBJECTIVE, NOT OBJECTIVE
M. Picabia does not paint objective
he expresses moods produced in him
what he aeea. Clear, ar, alwajra, in his <
planatlon?, he ?graapad iiiiiu? di.itely up
the most illustrative <a?-e now within 0
reach, that of the '"Nuda Deecendlni
Ptairoase" at the armory. Here, h? p?.:i
ed out. is the fundamental error nf the
who seek to know and underatand nil
out the proper approach. In this pi??l?t
which so many ha*, o been ?acrutlntalng
order to find both the woman and tl
staircase, neither is repreOCUted No a
tempt la made at depletion, at objectl'
praucntatton. The picture <xi"' t!
mood produced in the painter1! memoi
by B view of a nude dcacondtaa h Hlgh1 i
stairs. Jutst so. In II. Picabia'?- plctur
of New York here presented, we are.
look, not for topography, tot objet fret .
production, but for moods espreaaed '
form. Their expression would be Clear?
of course, if color were added i<? the fort
but even so, if the behold? r can recognli
In one of these drawings NOW V??i I?'- t"\?
erin? halghta and aharply cut akyllne,
view of its electric power houeea and Ii
duatrlal eatabHahineota from th? ? .<
River, it is not ni? aus? the ;ntisi delibei
ately has afKighl t?> reproduce them, bi
because the \ i\ idles , of ih'ir impi <?: ?,i?.
has mad'- them a valient pari 'if bis n.
The explanation of ihr. Impreaatoti Ilia
he, true, it ?nay Im ?in? i" lb? dclr? i
?,.1. If, ri' abla "i !? uta bun-- Ii ?.?. It
askiiiif ui i?, look, and i" i?' ? i? "o looklni
alwaya with a (readlneai i" i-etrelve n?
mood Of the other Impretalona repfa
dui-ed on this paga no attempted lutei
pretation is ftxetl They mum si?aK f>>
thomach a, it they ap? ;?i al all. Uul Ihej
??ertainly ?SUggl I an miens? aubjectivlt'
of m<?'??l on lb? part "f th? painter, an?
tha ajuoatlon wh-ether au**h aubjectire m
.,, --, ,,, - avei Hh?H ? to r t-/eal lia? ?i l<
??tlnrs. Il'r? Il I'l-ahia la read: a "i al
lng*en*oua explanation, or. rather, cora
The <-omp!iris"i? which II. ?Phrabla 1"
fondest of making is that with abaolul?
musl?' The rules of inusi.-al ??oiiii???slilon.
he points oui, nr? aufActeotly bamperlDi
in tliemaeives to th?* eompouet'a mood.
or call It Inspiration. Words, as of BOUga
atiti further oanftea bis vision m tnalody,
even though they Rive In the bcginnim:
th?? Impression that ? vokes th.? mood
Botigs without words, th?- ixprcssl'ii ol
tha Impression made, on bin? by a great
poem without the necessity of fotlowlna
in musical form the literary form ?>f the
poet, leave him far freer, plve bis eub?
Jeeilvity far wider acope. Hadara ???m
posera have rebelled against th?' old fei
terej modern palntera have begun to feel
the sama need of a freer, an abaolul?
method of exprcsalon. Heine, "poat-im
preaslotilani." which refuses altogether to
be bound by objectivity, by literal repro?
duction of the object seen, In connection
with the mood, the aftei 1inpre*aion. re
celved and fixed on the canvas. A com
poaer may be Inspired by a walk in the |
country, ?aya M. Plcal?a, and produce a
This Leading Painter of the Newest of the New Schools Ex*m
plains That the Seeker tor Enlightenment Must Not
?Seek for Depiction or Objective Presentation in
These or Any Other Pictures Which He
Makes-He Will Find Many Who
Will Cordially Agree with Him.
pastoral 11 ? i h? attempt ?-?
production "f th?' landacape acene, of
di tail ..i form ai d coloi ? N??. he
preai s it m aound wav?*a, ne trans?a
ii Into .m exi?r- - ?m of th.- In
th- n. od. An ? at th? re an
Miund wav?t*a to then an b olut? wa'
??? ? oior and form Modern music !
ita araj : thla modern painting t
will linil appre. ?
i- t .?? das - i.ne M ?Picabia aaae
ilia? I lato fon -au- tin? coming ? i '
understanding <?f the absolute in fo
an?l color, aa well as in aound, and quo
- ? ? i oil of ?Social a i ho Ing thai "i
and .!.?;? aounds, -.i.in-,r forth a ?'.?
vibration, are beautiful, not In their re
ii n to oth? r bo nid*, but in t hernach
taken by themselvea, and they have
themaelvea the ;??>? er of ?giving delight
M Picabia haa ? wealth of plrtureeq
comparlaona al hla r-ommand, and co
tlnually arr?ate i1" attention with strikt
etatementa Take an objective paint?
he s.i>.-. and watch htm preparing a su
? . : for, say, a "still life." H? takes
?.as,. i,t fiowera and placea it on ?-? tab
Beside it in- poeea perhapa, a braaa hoi
and eomc other ?objecta, having rega
throughoul for light, and, abo... all. f.
p oportion and color. That la when he
really painting hla picture, when he
reallj "compa ing, ' i*-****elvlng his Impre
alon, creating hit aubj-*ctlvc m.I. Ti
objective pari of hla work is don? . .
that remains noo Is to gi".'' exprescl?
i., thai Impreealon, thai mood. in*-i?-.-i
of thus allowing his Inaplration fa gal
its full value and significance, he ai
down and reproduces ii with a larv?
degree of ltteraln?tsa li? becoraea n?>ti
? tt?R in??!?' or leaa than a ropjrlat, a pta
I tographer <?f hla mui work, n?* kill
? within himself us aobjectlve ratuea or, i
?best. Se. ks t?. give I hem expf. ssi'.ii f. I
Iterad by objectivity. Or, again, conaidi
th? case Of the portrait painter. II
'-tudies his aitten from ever) point i
? \ iew, gathering Impreaalona Then in* hr
?.?ms to expei iuii-nt with poses, draperlei
i tighi effects, seeking i>? heighten the Im
! pression airead) received from the -m ?
htmaelf. Al last he la ?conten? with pout
[drapetiea, background. liKhts bis pi-ctur
| Is there, tint why, then, go to the troubl?
lof painting It, ?of copying It, thai la? i
the work be tuts done, Itolahed in - ? 11 Hi
I detail -, is i<? benefll him, he mual proven
from II and beiond II Hla ?? ??? wort
then is to communicate i" othci : lb?
I mood awakened In him.
it is from thla mechanical ..i.u-.it
that the moderna are ae? kim; i., brea I
loooe There ere absolute value? her? "'
rulot- and form Inflnltel) mot* raluable t?
ns and leading on much further than th?
literal once. "Wa have dona with aym*
bollsm, with literature, arlth lltermlneas,
?\itli impressionism which waa th. Ural
step upward In painting." And If. Pitea
hh? la convinced. Rrml) ? onvlnced, thai In
tin? en?i tba arorM will see with hla ejrea
and anderatand, as it has learned to bear
and appreciate tie* neo music
A LITTLE HISTORY.
The movement, as we have just learned
from If. Picabia, stand With inipres
s|..iiism. Then came nco-lmpressiunlsm,
WhOM leader is Signa.-: then cubism,
vx lilil? sought a K?'??metrlc third ?lim.-n
I * Ion In painting, the expression of tilings
I seen in geometrical figures. Bui a purely
I subjective art cannot, of course, tt-o
?bound by any form of expression tha mo?
ment that expr??ssi.ui become? a <-onv??n
ll"ii, an established body of laws with
accepted \ alms. Therefore M. Plcahla
bus cut loose from ??nblstn, and Is what,
again fur handy classification an evil
habit ?"'rum which w<? cannot emancipate
OUreefvoa may perhaps best be called
"poBt-cublst," with entirely unieUer?*d,
ever-varying means af tl
; ression in form and color aravss, aootgpf
Ing to the commanda, the ne-ds, the tr
? on of the ImpreaatoBi tha mood r?
celved. Objective exproaaaoo is strlctl
barred. Ha even Igaoroa form as far ;?
? . seeking "??olor harmonie? " Hai
mony and equilibrium art bla device.
The "futurlata" ar?-, according to M
Ptcabla, a strictly Italian s.?:.,>??;. whos
'leader la SU'ia.r M.irinettl, who is not i
painter, but a man of lettera They ?ia\
? ? the wrong me Hum. how? ver, a?"
cor.ling t<? M. PIcaMa; they seek to re
produ a movement m painting, whetea
painting is aaaantlallp static.
Mi ? y are 11 ? remarks overheard at Its
armory exhibition, from assuranceg tha
"you will aee that there i?- something ii
it if you win only lo ?k long enoogh" t?
expreeeiona ??f abaolute dissent and posl
?like, it was the late BM N><
?ho, In one of his beat moods, made tnt
'!i-'?".?:\ thai "the atrangeat thing show
?lassie,?1 muaie is that h Is so much bet
ter than It sounds." in the same wav
the unitlated may aaj of M. PieaMa'i
i??.st cubism that it -listens'- m much
I" tt'i- than II lo? ks. Mis theories of hli
art, preaented with ?-aim r-onvtetkM, are
most Interesting fn?le.?ii. bol the practica
tin rea Its ?an beyond the mad* ratead?
in.: <?f tin average beholder. WberefOrt,
in. too, lik?- tha advanced commentators
at the exhibition. invites us to "keep look
Ing." artth the saauraacs that sooner or
i. t? i ira siia'i see.
iii? re la no poaa about M Pirnbla;
above all, he doea not for a moment wish.
?i to be underetood t!..it he beltsvea *hat
f.. ind the Meal mean*- of e\pre?
: -um for Ills theory of painting; mid its
mission, which is t.? appeal as directly n?
possible to the spirit. The rapport, the
sympathy to be established between th?
painter and th?* beholder need be m? more
explicit than thai between the composer
and the lletener, ao long au it t? as inti?
mate and uplifting Many ?trange doc?
trinen are preached in thee? dayi of In?
tense Intellectual activity; man?
culta are practised Man la etltl the m*a
are of all thtaga what pleaae :i
Plcabfa most in this city la th? sincerity
of the Intereal in th? modern movemenl
evinced b) th? men and aromen he im I?
here lie doea not hide the fad thai oat
Ignot ? '.' h meaalni at ? ? i
??? great, bul he adds, Il h no ire it' r
tiiaa thai ol the Parlaient arho, mare?
.?ver, ha? i smooth, coamopolltai. super?
ririalitj thai glMea with aaailtag aneaabil?
Ity over the surface of Ihtnga althot
caring for tin kernel of them pari t?f the
Intellectual social cam? so gracefully
i!.i\.?.i over there, aheieaa artth aa there
? rtouaneaa and honesty of purpose,
\ 11 ? i the mini be.? informed on this whole
revolution In the art of paintlnc. the man
who, according to m Ph-ahin. ahaadd be
made lo lecture upon II wllly-nllly, is an
tmertcaa and a near v?>rk??r. Mr. AJtrad
MttogNta Th.? article present.*?! here tmist
he taken as the expression of the post
Impreaaton received fmm a talk with M.
Ptcabla by a newspaperman who does not
claim to be of the inner circle, who. In
fact, feels, in the retrospect, airain de
cidedly ahaky as to his standing Just be
fottd Hi?' threshold. At the same time lie
(s willliiR to confess that the theory, aa
expounded by both M. and Mme. Pleabla
.?x'*epi the "high rpots" It hits with dis?
concerting frerjuency?"listened" decided-'
ly well to him. a layman who has sine?.
looked and looked with the most honor-J
ible intentions without succeeding inj
makJag an und??rNtatidlng mental or emo?
tional connection with the waves of abso?
lute color and form that play ao vital %
part in the report of the long converse*?,
tlon nivea itMfc m >paaM "** ?"?*