Francis Picabia

Alarm Clock

1919

Original title
Réveil Matin
Medium
Ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 318 x 230 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 2011
Reference
T13345

Display caption

Picabia associated himself with the subversive, anti-rational Dada movement, and made this work during a visit to Zurich when he first met fellow Dadaists Tristan Tzara and Jean Arp. In inking-up the cogs of a clock (a key Swiss product), Picabia undermined the rational measuring of time upon which the social order was based. Conversation, made three years later, also links the measurable (the carefully delineated stripes) and the sensual (the nude female torsos).

Gallery label, July 2011