Alice Halicka was born December 20, 1895 in Krakow, Poland. She was
born to a wealthy family and, after her mother’s death, was raised
predominantly by her grandparents in Tyrol.
Following her formative education, she moved to Munich to study painting
under Hungarian artist Simon Hollosy. She studied in the ateliers of
Wyczolkowski and Pankiewcz as well. In May of 1912 Halicka moved to
Paris where continued her studies at l’Académie Ranson
under Sérusier and Maurice Denis. During this time she also met
renowned Cubist painter and future husband Louis Marcoussis.
She and her husband befriended many artists and writers who were instrumental
in the early movements of Parisian society and culture including Appolinaire,
Braque, Gris, Dufy, André Salmon and Appolinaire who subsequently
reviewed Halicka’s work in Soirées de Paris.
Halicka exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and began to
work under the influence of Zborowski, who was a strong proponent of
Cubism. He began to represent her work, though her husband strongly
discouraged it. As a result Halicka destroyed much of her cubist work
and, in 1919 focused on collage and fabric design. In 1920 she exhibited
at the Salon des Indépendants, Salon d’Automne, Salon des
Tuileries and the Salon Surindépendants.
In Paris in 1922
Galerie-Bernheim Jeune presented exhibition of a group of significant
modern artists including Henri Matisse, Alice Halicka, Auguste Herbin,
Pierre Hode, Marie Laurencin, Henri Lebasque, Fernand Leger, and Moise
Galerie Druet held a successful exhibition of her work in 1924 and she
went on to exhibit at the Galerie Georges Petit in Paris (1930, 1931),
Leicester Gallery in London (1934) and M. Harriman Gallery and Galerie
Levy in New York (1936, 1937).
Other exhibitions include Art Polanais, Société Nationale
des Beaux-Arts, Musée du Grand Palais, 1921; the International
Exhibition of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum,1927; Galerie Bonjean, Paris,1931;
From Impressionism to Abstracton : 13 Women Painters, AWA Club House,
New York, 1934; Les Dames de Montmarte, Musée de Montmarte, Paris,
1966; Les Cubistes, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1973; The
Circle of Montparnasse Jewish Artistes in Paris 1905-1945, Jewish Museum,
Mew York, 1985. Halicka also exhibited frequently with the esteemed
Bernheim and Berthe Weill galleries.
In 1925 Halicka illustrated Enfantines by Valery Larbaud and Les Enfants
du Ghetto by Israel Zangwill. She also created set designs for several
ballets while in the United States, one of which was performed at the
Metropolitan Opera New York and Covent Garden, London.
Halicka spent the duration of World War II in France and in 1946 she
published a book of memoirs, Hier. She continued to exhibit her work
in France and travel abroad in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Halicka’s works are held by the Barnes Foundation and in the collection
of M. Kapferer, Chevalier, Reinhardt, Bernard, Bloch and Lederlin. Her
biography has been written in Peintures Juifs à Paris by Nadine
Nieszawer, Marie Boyé and Paul Fogel, L’École de
Paris published by the Paris Museum of Modern Art and Modern French
Painters by Maurice Raynal. In 2002 the Musée du Montparnasse
held an exhibition, Elles de Montparnasse, in which Halicka’s
work and biography were included.
Alice Halicka died in Paris in 1975.