[NetBehaviour] A journal edited by Francis Picabia between 1917and 1924 [PDFs].

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Aug 13 20:17:11 CEST 2011

391. Edited by Francis Picabia. Barcelona, New York, Zurich, Paris, 
1917-1924. 19 Numbers.


"It's better than nothing, because really, here, there's nothing ...", 
wrote Francis Picabia to Alfred Stieglitz from Barcelona on 22 January 
1917, to announce the publication of his "magazine", 391, the "double" 
that of the New York photographer, 291 [Cited in M. Sanouillet, 1966, p. 

Even if Picabia appeared to be duplicating 291 in the title and material 
presentation of his magazine, 391 is the instrument which allowed him to 
diffuse his art and his ideas: from the launch of the magazine in 1917 
until 1924, each issue contained the artist's poems, notes, and 
drawings, and the covers almost always reproduced one of his works. The 
periods in which Picabia experienced difficulty account for the 
magazine's irregular rhythm of publication: a turning point in his art, 
boredom, solitude, and illness... "Better than nothing": to do 
everything to avoid doing nothing, to work, to create to live. For 
Picabia, as for the Dada movement, which he joined after the creation of 
391, these years of war were about battling nothingness, the vacuum that 
is civilization, with provocation.

Between January and March of 1917, four issues appeared in Barcelona, 
then three others in New York between March and July of the same year. 
Behind a 'mechanomorphic' drawing by Picabia, he published texts and 
illustrations from the circle of artists located in Barcelona, then from 
innovative artists from New York, whom he tried to federate around his 
journal, but without success; numbers six and seven contained almost 
exclusively his own texts and drawings.

More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list