FRANCIS PICABIA, His Art, Life and Times by William A. Camfield (Princeton University Press, 1979)
First major assessment of Picabia's work and the role he played in the avant-garde art of the first half of the 20th century. Picabia, a man of considerable private means, was somewhat of a dilettante, devoting equal attention to fast cars and women as to his art, which was often mediocre (espeically his early abstracts and his later kitschy figuration). His best work, in my opinion, was done around 1915-20, when he was strongly influenced by Duchamp. He should also be remembered for his prolific output of poems and other writings, as well as for 391, the Dadaist periodical he edited.