During the time of the artistic avant-garde already in the 20th century, many authors presented themselves as authentic defenders of a specific artistic style or avant-garde, quite the contrary, other artists shone for their pictorial genius that they poured into any of the pictorial movements that were appearing one after another, these authors are the ones that find it hardest to define them according to a specific style, since their pieces are brilliant in any of the avant-garde movements they worked on.
In this last group of authors we find, for example, the artist that concerns us today, Francis Picabia, whose full name was Francis Marie Martínez Picabia, born in Paris in 1879. The artist had Cuban origins and was the only son of a well-positioned family. In his training period he passed through the School of Fine Arts in Paris as well as the School of Decorative Arts in the French capital, at this time the influences that the artist absorbed from the Impressionists and some of the figures of Post-Impressionism became evident. like Sisley or Pissarro.
During the early years of the 20th century Picabia was faithful to the cubist aesthetic and within this group he met the Duchamp brothers who would exert a strong influence on the artist. Around the year 1913 Picabia traveled to the USA, specifically to New York City, where he exhibited at the International Exhibition of Modern Art to make the public aware ofAmerican the new vanguards that were emerging in the old continent.
It was precisely on his return from New York that the artist produced the work that concerns us here and which is en titled El Apuro. It is a piece made in watercolor and pencil on paper glued to cardboard and is currently on display at the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. It is a small-format piece with a horizontal layout that is barely sixty-five centimeters wide and just under sixty centimeters high. In it, the artist has recorded the modernity of the American city, the modernism that permeated each of its corners and the vitality of its citizens.
However, in the piece we also find a harmony of abstract forms that remind us of Kandinsky's pieces and, like him, Picabia raised the need to pour the artist's feelings onto the canvasto make them available to the viewer. In this sense, perhaps the title that the painter wrote at the top of the canvas Embarras is also related, which can be translated as Rush, and which refers to a feeling that a priori would have nothing to do with the theme of the big city but yes with what the artist felt.