French painter and writer Albert Leon Gleizes was raised in Paris and was the son of a fabric designer who ran a large industrial design workshop. After finishing secondary school, he worked with his father, and then, while serving in the army from 1902 to 1905, he began to paint seriously.
Initially influenced by the Impressionists, at twenty-one his work La Seine a Asnieres was exhibited at the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1902. Alongside several friends, in 1906, he founded the Abbaye de Creteil outside Paris. This commune of artists and writers scorned bourgeois society and sought to create nonallegorical, epic art based on modern themes. The commune closed in 1908 due to financial restraints, and in 1909, he came under the influence of Fernand Leger, Robert Delauney, Jean Metzinger and later Henri Faucconnier, who led Gleizes to his cubist style.
In 1910, he exhibited at the Salon des Independents, Paris and the Jack of Diamonds in Moscow.
In 1914, Gleizes re-entered the military service. His paintings had become abstract by 1915. Galeries Daimau, Barcelona held his first one man show in 1916. Then beginning in 1918, while in America, Gleizes developed an interest in spiritual values, and as a result, the theme of religious thought entered many of his subsequent writings.
He founded Moly-Sabata, another utopian community of artists and craftsmen in Sablons. Later in his career, he was commissioned for murals for the Paris World's Fair of 1937.
In 1947, a major Gleizes retrospective occurred in Lyons at the Chapelle du Lycee Ampere. From 1949 to 1950, Gleizes painted illustrations for Pascal’s Pensees, and in 1952 he painted a fresco, Eucharist, for the chapel Les Fontaines at Chantilly.
Gleizes died in Avignon on June 23, 1953.
Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France, 1902
Salon des Independents, Paris, France, 1910
Jack of Diamonds, Moscow, Russia, 1910
Galeries Daimau, Barcelona, Spain, 1916
Retrospective, Chapelle du Lycee Ampere, Lyon, France, 1947
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