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The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris Paperback – Sep 3 2010


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"The contradictions that crease the surfaces and form the actual texture of art practice are too often glossed over in the historian's rush to coherence. George Baker is one of a very few art historians capable of writing for artists, making artists the primary beneficiaries of their thinking, and also writing for the purposes of inciting new artistic production even while removing the artist-subject from the center of the scene. Caught by the Tail is a brilliant example of how to surprise us by lingering a little longer at the scene of the crime."--Gareth James, Chair of Visual Arts, Columbia University



"George Baker's gripping study of Francis Picabia offers a model of Dadathat goes well beyond the usual pieties regarding its anti-art stance.Baker attends to Picabia's productive innovation in the Paris Dada moment,showing that it was through form that Picabia remade modernism from themedium up."--David Joselit, Yale University

(David Joselit)

"George Baker's book... is the first in English dealing specifically with Picabia's Dada work in Paris and is a serious rethinking of the readymade (the other, Picabian, one) based on a study of the artist's singularly multifarious practice." John Kelsey Artforum



"George Baker"s gripping study of Francis Picabia offers a model of Dada that goes well beyond the usual pieties regarding its anti-art stance. Baker attends to Picabia"s productive innovation in the Paris Dada moment, showing that it was through form that Picabia remade modernism from the medium up."David Joselit , Yale University

About the Author

George Baker is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an editor at October magazine and October Books. He is the editor of James Coleman (MIT Press) and a frequent contributor to Artforum.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Francis Picabia - much bigger Dadaist than I thought Feb. 17 2009
By James A. Woronow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would recommand this book to anyone fairly deep into Dada art. I had always considered Picabia a side note to the movement. After having read this book it is easy to see that this perception was a miscaluation of his influence. Though most bios over state the importance of the subject and their philosphy (this one seems to also but to a lesser extent)it is a very interesting exploration of Dada in Paris and its slow transformation into surrealism.
Picabia the artist, stage designer, ciematographer and general bon vinant are well storied.


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