Alexander Archipenko  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Alexander Porfyrovych Archipenko (also referred to as Olexandr, Oleksandr, or Aleksandr) (Template:Lang-uk) (May 30, 1887 – February 25, 1964) was a Ukrainian avant-garde artist, sculptor, and graphic artist.


Alexander Archipenko was born in Kiev, in present-day Ukraine (at the time a part of the Russian Empire) to Porfiry Antonowych Archipenko and Poroskowia Vassylivna Machowa Archipenko; he was the younger brother of Eugene Archipenko.

From 1902-1905, he attended the Kiev Art School (KKHU), after which he continued his education in the arts as the student of S. Svyatoslavsky in 1906 (also in Kiev). In the same year he had an exhibition in Kiev, together with Alexander Bogomazov. That same year, Archipenko moved to Moscow, where he had a chance to exhibit his work in some group shows.

By 1909, however, he had moved to Paris and was a resident in the artist's Colony La Ruche, among émigré Russian artists: Wladimir Baranoff-Rossine, Sonia Delaunay-Terk, and Nathan Altman.

After 1910 Alexander Archipenko had exhibitions at Salon des Independants, Salon d'Automne together with Aleksandra Ekster, Kazimir Malevich, Vadym Meller, Sonia Delaunay (Terk) alongside Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Andre Derain.

In 1912 Archipenko had his first personal exhibition at the Museum Folkwang in Hagen. From 1912 to 1914 Archipenko was teaching at his own Art School in Paris. In 1913 Archipenko's works appeared at the Armory Show in New York. Archipenko moved to Nice in 1914. In 1920 he participated in Twelfth Biennale Internazionale dell'Arte di Venezia in Italy and started his own Art school in Berlin the following year.

In 1922 Archipenko participated in the First Russian Art Exhibition in the Gallery van Diemen in Berlin together with Aleksandra Ekster, Kazimir Malevich, Solomon Nikritin, El Lissitzky and others.

thumb|The gravesite of Alexander ArchipenkoIn 1923 he emigrated to USA, becoming an American citizen in 1929. Also in 1923, Archipenko participated in an exhibition of Russian Paintings and Sculpture. In 1933 he exhibited at the Ukrainian pavilion in Chicago as part of the Century of Progress World's Fair. Alexander Archipenko contributed the most to the success of the Ukrainian pavilion. His works occupied one room and were valued at $25,000 dollars.

In 1936 Archipenko participated in an exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art in New York, numerous exhibitions in Europe and US.

Alexander Archipenko died on February 25, 1964, in New York. He is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Contribution to Art

Associated with the cubist movement, Archipenko departed from the neo-classical sculpture of his time and used negative space to create a new way of looking at the human figure, showing a number of views of the subject simultaneously. He is known for introducing sculptural voids, and for his inventive mixing of genres throughout his career: devising 'sculpto-paintings', and later experimenting with materials such as clear acrylic and terra cotta.

Public collections

Among the public collections holding works by Alexander Archipenko are: The Addison Gallery of American Art (Andover, Massachusetts), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art (Northwestern University, Illinois), Brigham Young University Museum of Art (Utah), Chi-Mei Museum (Taiwan),The Denver Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Guggenheim Museum (New York City), the Hermitage Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.), the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Indiana University Art Museum (Bloomington), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Maier Museum of Art (Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Virginia), the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (Alabama), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the Nasher Sculpture Center (Dallas, Texas), the National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena, California), the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice), the Phillips Collection (Washington D.C.), the Portland Museum of Art (Maine), the San Antonio Art League Museum (Texas), the San Diego Museum of Art (California), the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (Lincoln, Nebraska), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C.), Städel Museum (Frankfurt), the Tate Gallery, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Von der Heydt-Museum (Wuppertal, Germany), Walker Art Center (Minnesota) and The Cleveland Cultural Gardens (Ukrainian Garden) in Rockefeller Park (Ohio).

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