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This chapter explains the renewed importance of Francis Picabia for advanced art in Paris, Milan, and New York during 1959–60. Younger artists like Jean-Jacques Lebel, Erró, and Enrico Baj, searching for models of social and aesthetic subversion, were attracted to Picabia’s Dadaist and Surrealist legacy, understanding his work as part of a larger critique of consumerist culture. The effects of an accelerating consumer culture were being more and more discussed by the French press, which often blamed the United States for the new developments. This chapter understands the interest in Picabia as part of a larger movement that included Guy Debord and the Situationist International at one extreme and Piero Manzoni at the other. Accounting for the differences between these positions, the chapter explores their mutual development in strategies of negation.

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