Good painting is not what sells ... good painting does not exist; what exists is the man who has something to say and who uses the medium of painting ... to externalise his personality...That's Picabia in 1922. I might have to steal 'beaux-arts-cubists' – but change it to 'beaux-arts-conceptualists'. Here's the artist Picabia'd like to see:
The personality which springs from a system can no more interest us than that of a maniac who could only write with orange ink...
Ah! Certainly I prefer the cubism of Picasso and Braque in 1913 ... the pity is that many people do not yet see how much creative spirit there was in the cubism of these two men; they often confound them with the group of idiots cast in their wake...
Delacroix, Ingres, Corot, Cezanne, Sisley, Pissarro, Seurat, Gustav Moreau, Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, these are men who have laid bare life, their life: their pictures have real pollen and their names can only be asserted under the nose of those who think that an epoch is great because it lasts a long time and those who participate in it are numerous. Such is the idea of the small school of the beaux-arts-cubists founded by L'Esprit nouveau; they know the why of everything, they have their laws, they know good and evil, they imitate God driving Adam and Eve out of paradise, God not being able to endure sin! Sin, the serpent, that is Dada!
L'Esprit nouveau will only be new when it is dead. At least then it will have evolved!
In several weeks 'the Salon of good painting', the Salon d'Automne, will open. In finishing, may I offer a word of advice to the members of the jury: to refuse pitilessly all that they like and accept only what horrifies them; in this way we might perhaps have an exhibition less stupid and less monotonous and some innovators would run the risk of having the great luck to exhibit in a palace consecrated to the glory of French art and decreed a public utility.
A man who would not be influenced by anyone, who would not be preoccupied with modernism or cubism or dadaism; who would not be socialist or communist or the contrary; a man who would simply be himself ... A man who would succeed in communicating to us the desire for a life of openness and full activity ... A man, finally, who would lead us to the new world to discover: the world of love which the mediocre have no desire to enter and which frightens the 'intellectuals' for fear of ridicule.
Jesus Christ invented that manner of life long ago; I would prefer it to the present dilution.