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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).

July 2011