Artist biography

Louis Marcoussis 1878-1941

School of Paris Cubist painter and etcher. Born in Warsaw; original name Louis Markus. Studied 1901-3 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow; in 1903 went to Paris and worked for three months in the studio of J. Lefebvre at the Académie Julian, where he met La Fresnaye and Lotiron. Began as an Impressionist. Abandoned painting temporarily 1907-10 to earn his living as a caricaturist. Met Apollinaire, Braque and Picasso in 1910 and joined the Cubist movement; exhibited in 1912 at the Salon de la Section d'Or. On Apollinaire's advice, took as pseudonym the name of the village of Marcoussis (Seine-et-Oise). Married the painter Alice Halicka in 1913. Volunteered in 1914 for the French Army. After his return in 1919, continued working in the tradition of synthetic Cubism, his works of 1919-28 including a number of paintings on glass to obtain a greater purity of expression. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Pierre, Paris, 1925. Made many etchings, especially from 1930, including portraits and works inspired by poetry, among them illustrations for Tzara's Indicateur des Chemins de Coeur 1928 and Apollinaire's Alcools. Died at Cusset.

Published in:
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, pp.484-5