Louis Markus Marcoussis
Louis Marcoussis was born Ludwig Casimir Ladislas Markus in 1878 in Warsaw. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts of Cracow in 1901 to study painting under Jan Crzegorz Stanislawski. Markus moved to Paris in 1903 and worked briefly under Jules Lefebvre at the Académie Julian. He also became acquainted with Robert Lotiron and La Fresnaye. In 1905, he had his first exhibition at the Salon d’Automne. He also exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1906 and was subsequently represented by both Salons in the years that followed.
Markus made his living in Paris selling caricatures to satirical periodicals, including La Vie Parisienne and Le Journal. Around 1906, he met Edgar Degas and in 1910, he met Braque, Picasso and Apollinaire. After abandoning painting in 1907, he again began to paint three years later, discarding Impressionism for the new Cubist idiom. At the suggestion of Apollinaire, Markus began calling himself Marcoussis in 1911 and in the year that followed, he participated in the Salon de la Section d’Or at the Galerie de la Boétie in Paris. During this time, his circle of contemporaries included Picabia, Gris, Léger, Metzinger and Max Jacob. From 1914 to 1919, Marcoussis served in the army, returning to Poland after his demobilization.
In 1921 Marcoussis exhibited at the gallery of Der Sturm in Berlin and in 1925 he was given his first one-man show. In 1934 he spent several months in the United States, where one-man shows of his prints opened at the Arts Club of Chcago and at M. Knoedler and Co. in New York. From 1930 to 1937, Marcoussis concentrated almost exclusively on graphics. In 1936 a retrospective of his prints took place at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. In 1938 he traveled in Italy and England and in the year that followed he was mgiven a solo exhibition at the London Gallery. As the German Army advanced in 1940, Marcoussis left Paris for Cusset, near Vichy, where he died in 1941.