From 1912 to 1914 he was a member of the Section d’Or group of artists, and his work demonstrates an individual response to cubism. He was influenced by Braque and Picasso but his work has a more decorative than structural feel and his prismatic colours reflect the influence of Robert Delaunay. He was a member of the Puteaux Group, an orphist offshoot of cubism led by Jacques Villon. His most famous work is The Conquest of the Air, 1913, and depicts a scene with himself and his brother outdoors with a balloon in the background (see below).
La Fresnaye served in the French army in World War 1 and his health deteriorated rapidly after the war. He never recovered the physical energy to undertake sustained work. In the later paintings that he did create, he abandoned cubist spatial analysis for a more linear style. He died in Grasse in 1925.