Man Ray, Picabia et la revue Littérature (1922-1924)


Drawing, photography

Man Ray, Picabia et la revue Littérature (1922-1924)

Past: July 2 → September 8, 2014

This exhibition “Man Ray, Picabia et la revue Littérature (1922-1924)”, invites visitors to discover the contribution of two major 20th century artistes to a review whose last issues reflected a crucial period in the history of modern art, between the end of the Dada movement and the advent of Surrealism.

Littérature whose first issue came out in 1919, was originally a Surrealist review of “poems and prose” edited by Louis Aragon, André Breton and Philippe Soupault. Breton was the sole editor of the review from 1922 to 1924, and to mark this change of direction, decided to replace the cover picture originally created by Man Ray with drawings (different each time) by Picabia, to whom he gave a free hand. Picabia, who also published numerous texts in the review, adopted a new graphic style for the drawings he produces here, focusing chiefly on line and imagination.

Francis picabia sans titre projet pour litt rature 1922 1924 2 medium
Francis Picabia, Sans titre, Projet de couverture pour Littérature, 1922-1924 Mine graphite et encore sur papier — 31,4 × 24,1 cm Courtesy of Centre Pompidou, Paris

While the nine covers Littérature published by André Breton were well-known to art historians, nobody knew until 2008 that the original drawings still existed, or that Picabia had contributed 17 other compositions that had never been published. This exceptional collection, declared a work of major heritage, has now joined the Centre Pompidou collections thanks to sponsorship. The exhibition is presenting the works to the public to the public for the first time since their acquisition.

Meanwhile, Man Ray unveiled in Littérature images that have since become icons of photographic modernity, including Le Violon d’Ingres (The Hobby) and Elevage de Poussière (Dust Raising) in collaboration with Marcel Duchamp, together with the far less well-know Monsieur… etc., shown for the first time in Europe in this exhibition. For while photography only played a minor role with the Dadaists, it became a fully-fledged character with Surrealism.

Francis picabia sans titre projet pour litt rature 1922 1924 3 medium
Francis Picabia, Sans titre, Couverture de Littérature, nouvelle série, n°11-12, 15 octobre 1923, 1922-1923 Mine graphite et encore sur papier — 31,4 × 23,9 cm Courtesy of Centre Pompidou, Paris

To create a dialogue in this exhibition between not only Man Ray and picabia but also Max Ernst and Robert Desnos, likewise contributors to the review, curators Christian Briends and Clément Cheroux have drown on two of the Centre Pompidou’s major collections, including that of Man Ray: a collections of more than 10,000 negatives, which entered the collections in 1994 through acceptance in lieu and donation.

04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

Place Georges Pompidou

75004 Paris

T. 01 44 78 12 33 — F. 01 44 78 16 73

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 11 AM – 9 PM
Late night on Thursday until 11 PM
ATTENTION : A compter du samedi 17 octobre 2020, tous les espaces du Centre Pompidou (les Galeries, le Musée, la Bpi, les salles de spectacles et de cinéma) fermeront à 20h. Les derniers accès aux expositions se feront à 18h.

Admission fee

Full rate €14.00 — Concessions €11.00

Gratuit pour les moins de 18 ans, billet exonéré pour les moins de 26 ans. Et pour tout le monde, les premiers dimanches du mois.

Venue schedule

The artists

  • Man Ray
  • Francis Picabia