French painter and theorist associated with the Cubist and abstract movements. Born in Paris. Worked for several years in his father's fabric design studio, but began to paint on his own in an Impressionist style. Helped to found the Abbaye de Créteil 1906-8, a community of artists and writers based on the ideals of utopian socialism. Developed a more structural style with geometric simplification and in 1909-10 met Le Fauconnier and Metzinger, who were working on similar lines. Participated in the Cubist movement and with Metzinger published Du Cubisme 1912; assisted in the formation of the Section d'Or. Painted his first abstract pictures in 1914, though most of his works retained some connections with figures or still life. First one-man exhibition at the Galeria Dalmau, Barcelona, 1916. Founded another community of artists, Moly-Sabata, in Sablons 1927-51 and took as his ideal the close relationship between mural painting, sculpture and architecture in the Romanesque period. Co-founder of Abstraction-Creation 1931. Settled at St. Remy-de-Provence 1939; rejoined the Roman Catholic Church in 1941. His writings include Du Cubisme et des Moyens de le comprendre 1920 and La Peinture et ses Lois 1924. Died at Avignon.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.288