French Cubist and later abstract painter whose work forms a bridge between the Cubist movement and post-war geometrical abstract painting. Born in Quiévy. Studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lille 1898-1901. Influenced by the Impressionists. Moved to Paris in 1901 and worked for some years in isolation. In 1909 went to live in the Bateau Lavoir, where he met Picasso, Braque and Gris and gradually turned to Cubism. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Clovis Sagot, Paris, 1912. After an ornate phase of Cubism akin to folk art and sometimes containing pure geometrical elements 1917-21, reverted temporarily in 1922-5 to a more figurative style (landscapes, portraits, etc.). Then turned to abstraction in 1926 and was co-founder of the group Abstraction-Création 1931. Invented a system of abstract painting set out in his book L'Art Non-Figuratif Non-Objectif 1949. The pure geometrical shapes and positive colours of his later abstract works had considerable influence on various younger abstract painters. Was also active in the 1950s as a designer of tapestries. Died in Paris.
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.362