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Francis Picabia exhibition reviewed in The New Yorker

Goings About Town


The artists have initials in common. What else? Try a mind game. View the arch Dadaist Picabia's stubborn loyalty to painting—in late gawky abstractions, cheesy nudes, and neo-Fauvist landscapes—as conservative, though libertine, and the South Hampton realist Porter's eccentric modernism—anti-Cézanne while pro-de Kooning—as radical, though decorous. Both overreached on perverse principle, as when they insisted on painting people, which neither could do worth a nickel. Picabia's rudeness and Porter's lyricism suggest impersonal forces, to which they only usually surrendered. Each assures us, "I don't care what you think." Through Jan. 23. (De Nagy, 724 Fifth Ave., at 57th St. 212-262-5050.)

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