( 1883-1941). Originally he was called Louis Markus, transformed into Marcoussis-after a village near Montlhéry, outside Paris -- by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. He was born in Warsaw and died at Cusset, in the Allier, in central France. After his arrival in Paris in 1903 he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d'Automne. Until, 1907 he painted in the Impressionist style. Later he took part in the experiments of the first Cubist painters and in 1912 was active with the Section d'Or group. Even though he gave a vigorous structure to his landscapes and still lifes, his style retained a poetic lightness, evident in subtle passages of colour and in an elliptical and sensitive line. His art, based upon a graceful balance, always evokes a season, the charm of a faintly seen light, a real and emotionally experienced atmosphere of tender, restrained lyricism. This obedience to the beauties of Nature and this understanding of the aerial density of spare came only as the result of an inspired search for the secret rhythms that animate the universe. Marcoussis presents a curious mixture of sensitivity, reason and submission to the supernatural, to signs and messages. The poet Max Jacob, one of his oldest friends, has told of Marcoussis' superstitions, his continual interpretation of events, the protection he invoked of 'benevolent' monuments, his communion with the dark forces of the earth and his sense of portents. Indeed, toward the end of his life Marcoussis devoted his final collection of dry-points to the theme of Soothsayers. In his painting, which always resembles a poetic or musical interpretation, he avoided the stylizations into which so many postCubist painters lapsed. He never strayed from the natural order, even when he strove to incorporate into it the notion of a beyond; but neither was he ever content with realistic description: until the end his severe landscapes and sober still lifes revealed a vision of constantly renewed freshness.

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