He was born into a banker’s family. Soon the whole family moved to Režica in Vicebsk guberniya (now Rezekne, Latvia) and in 1904, went to Minsk. He studied at the private school of drawing of Y. Kruger and at Vilna School of Drawing. In 1912, he went to Paris and settled at La Ruche, a commune of artists. Together with Ch. Soutine he worked in the South of France. In 1924, Kikoïne was granted French citizenship.