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Arts

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Picabia’s mischievous postcard view of Nice

NEW HAVEN - Francis Picabia, one of the originators of Dada, made this picture, called “Midi (Promenade des Anglais)’’ sometime between 1923 and 1926. It’s on show at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, where it leapt out at me largely because I’m a sucker and I like palm trees and blue sky and Nice (where you will find the Promenade des Anglais), but also because I like macaroni, I’m tickled by feathers, and I’m intrigued by the texture of snakeskin.

The latter are hard to make out at first. Look closely, though, and you see that the trunks of Picabia’s palms are in fact pieces of tubular pasta joined end to end, and the fronds of his palms are feathers - presumably from a domestic duster.

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