Art: Back to Nature

The Armistice of 1918 gave free play to one memorable artistic movement—Dada. All perversity and insults to one school of critics, Dada seemed significant to others, who saw in its course from 1916 to 1924 a sensitive revulsion against a bad war and a bad peace.

The two Dada intellectuals known best in Manhattan were Marcel Duchamp (Nude Descending the Staircase) and his friend Francis Picabia. Picabia, born in Paris in 1878 of a French mother and a Spanish father, began exhibiting landscapes in Paris in 1894, enjoyed official successes and easy sales until...

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