(American/Ukrainian, 1887–1964) is celebrated for his Modernist sculptures and paintings, which dynamically combined Cubist and Futurist influences with ancient Egyptian and primitive aesthetics. Born in Kiev, Archipenko studied at the School of Art in Kiev in 1902, before moving to Moscow for two years and then settling in Paris in 1908. He spent two weeks at the École des Beaux-Arts before he left to pursue sculpture on his own, frequently studying the works at the Louvre, although he rejected the styles of Auguste Rodin
and other popular sculptors at the time. While in Paris, he started his own art school while exhibiting his work with the Cubist circle, alongside Pablo Picasso
, Georges Braque
, and André Derain
Over the next decade, Archipenko experimented with Cubist, concave, and convex forms in his sculptures, in addition to evoking pre-Columbian, Gothic, and other primitive art in his works. Highly influenced by both Cubist collage and Futurist ideas of volume and architectonic forms, Archipenko developed what he called “sculpto-paintings,” in which two- and three-dimensional forms were incorporated into pieces that explored properties of relief, space, sculpture, texture, and color. Archipenko continued to exhibit his work with Cubist artists throughout the decade, and was also featured in the controversial 1913 Armory Show in New York.
In 1921, he opened an art school in Berlin, and then opened another in 1923 in New York, where he emigrated with his wife. In the 1920s, he developed the Archipentura, a machine that allowed him to create sequential images, inspired in part by the Futurists, who sparked his interest in combining mechanical, modern forms with artistic production. Archipenko continued to teach, lecture, and exhibit his work throughout the United States, and in later decades created pieces incorporating classical forms with traditional sculptural materials, including bronze and ceramics. Archipenko died in 1964, renowned as a pioneer of Modernist sculpture and multimedia pieces. His works can be found in the collections of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland, among many others.