Francis Picabia Exhibition at MoMA: A Music Playlist

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Francis Picabia, 1913, Udnie (Young American Girl, The Dance), oil on canvas, 290 x 300 cm, (Musée national d’art moderne – Centre de création industrielle, Paris.)

In conjunction with the exhibition Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction, which runs from Nov. 21 through March 19, 2017, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, WQXR host Terrance McKnight has compiled a special playlist.

A lifelong music enthusiast, French painter Francis Picabia (1879–1953) said, "The attempt of art is to make us dream, as music does." Picabia's circle of influence included the most innovative musicians and performers of the day. McKnight has paired works by Picabia with music by Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, Ernesto Lecuona, Edgar Varèse, Scott Joplin and others. Visitors to the exhibition can listen to the musical selections on their phones. McKnight’s full Spotify playlist is available at

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction is a comprehensive survey of Picabia’s audacious, irreverent and profoundly influential work across mediums. This will be the first exhibition in the United States to chart his entire career. It features more than 200 works, including some 125 paintings, key works on paper, periodicals and printed matter, illustrated letters and one film. The exhibition aims to advance the understanding of Picabia’s relentless shape-shifting and how his persistent questioning of the meaning and purpose of art ensured his iconoclastic legacy’s lasting influence.

Below is the Spotify playlist:


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