French painter and writer, Picabia was one of the most important figures in the Dada movement in France and the United States. He studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris between 1895 and 1897 and immediately gained recognition for his Impressionist-inspired landscapes. These works, exhibited in various Paris salons, were particularly close to those of Camile Pissarro and Alfred Sisley. In the first decade of the century, Picabia was fascinated by the vanguard ideas that appeared, above all, through Orphism which Apollinaire launched in 1912. This strong influence led him to give up his experiments with Impressionism and Pointillism and begin to concentrate on compositions which were Cubist in tendency, immensely coloured and rich in contrasts. In 1912, he exhibited with the Section d'Or group and, in 1913, at the Armony Show in New York. During the First World War, Picabia travelled to various countries, finally settling, in 1916, in New York where he collaborated with the photographer Alfred Stieglitz, in his Gallery 291 and the magazine of the same name. During this period, he also became close to Duchamp. Later in the same year, he established himself in Barcelona, where he published the first issue of the magazine 391 in allusion to his involvement with 291 in New York. The 19 issues published between 1917 and 1924 were of fundamental importance for the development of Dada in Paris. In 1919, he returned Paris and, until 1924, it was there that he produced his most important Dadaist works. At this time, his literary pamphlets caused tremendous scandal as did his deliberately shocking drawings. In 1924, Picabia cut his relations with the Surrealists and turned his back on Paris and the art establishment. In 1925, on moving to a house near Cannes, his work underwent major changes which are visible, for example, in a series of paintings entitled Monsters. In 1927, he executed the first work in a series which he would work on until 1931 entitled Transparencies, in which he made use of former artists such as Piero della Francesca, Botticelli and Guido Reni. In this period, he painted according to a realist technique, cold in character, aggressive and disturbing. In the 40s, he produced a series of strongly erotic paintings featuring nude feminine figures. These "kitsch" works were considered, by some, a way of solving the artist's financial difficulties and, by others, the great precursors of Pop Art. At the end of the Second World War, Picabia returned to Paris and concentrated on inventing new methods and recycling features of his previous work. Although as a Dada artist, Picabia had received considerable recognition, it was only in the 80s that his art and particularly his final, more controversial phases, was re-evaluated by the young American and European artists, such as David Salle and Sigmar Polke. Artistic trends have appeared where the complexities of Picabia's development continue to prove influential.