Alexander Archipenko Ukraine & United States, 1887-1964


Alexander Archipenko (b. 1887, Kiev, Ukraine; d. 1964, New York, New York) was a Ukrainian sculptor and painter. Archipenko attended the Kiev Art School from 1902 to 1905 before moving in 1908 to Paris, where he briefly attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. There, he lived in the artist’s colony “La Ruche” in the 15th arrondissement where artists like Guillaume Apollinaire, Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine, Robert Delaunay, Amedeo Modigliani and Constantin Brâncuși were based throughout the 20th century. Archipenko exhibited alongside Kazimir Malevich and Georges Braque at the 1910 Salon des Indépendants and the 1911 Salon d'Automne, two of the first major exhibitions of Cubism in Paris. Two years later, the artist had his first solo exhibition at the Museum Folkwang in Hagen, Germany. Archipenko had joined the Section d’Or, also known as the Group de Puteaux, an artistic collective of Cubists and Orphists based out of the Parisian suburbs. After exhibiting in several major European shows, including the First Russian Art Exhibition in the Gallery van Diemen in Berlin, Archipenko moved to the United States in 1923. During his time in America, Archipenko opened several art schools in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago and taught briefly at the Bauhaus. Next to Picasso, Archipenko is known to have been one of the first avant-garde artists to apply Cubism to the human figure through sculptural practice. Archipenko was highly inventive in his application of Cubist methods, figuring the human body from several angles simultaneously, playing with an omission of detail and negative space, and combining the mediums of painting and sculpture with his Sculpto-Peintures.