Born in 1887 in Paris, Dasburg immigrated to America with his widowed mother in 1892, moving to Hell’s Kitchen in New York City. In 1902, one of his teachers, sensing a real talent, brought him to the Art Students League and negotiated a scholarship for Dasburg there. He studied there until he felt constricted and moved to the New York School of Art, where he studied under Robert Henri, whose joyful refutation of enduring artistic principles was passed on to his young protégé.
1908-1910 was spent in Paris, where Dasburg came in contact with the great artists of the day, developing a particular affinity for Cezanne, who would serve as his guiding inspiration for the rest of his career. While in France, Dasburg had a chance to meet Matisse in his studio and watch Matisse paint. Dasburg was impressed by his use of line and form to create pieces that had a stylistic flair without seeming forced or contrived. Inspired by the work of the leading European modernists, Dasburg returned to the United States, where he moved to Woodstock and lived with the leading artist of the American Synchromist movement, Morgan Russell.
Dasburg exhibited three oils and a sculpture at the famous Armory Show in 1913. Mabel Dodge Luhan invited him to visit her in Taos, New Mexico. After his initial visit, he moved to New Mexico in 1921. The Cubist style he picked up in Paris is beautifully apparent in his landscapes.
His works are in major collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum.