Archipenko, Alexander


Born in Kiev (now Ukraine) in 1887, from 1902 to 1905, Alexander Archipenko attended the Kiev Art School.  He moved to Paris in 1908 to focus solely on his career as an artist and in  Paris in 1908 and in 1912, Alexander Archipenko was given his first solo show in Germany at the Museum Folkwang Hagen. That same year, in Paris, he opened the first of his many art schools, joined the Section d’Or group which included Georges Braque, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, and Pablo Picasso among others, and produced his first painted reliefs, the Sculpto-Peintures. In 1913, Archipenko exhibited at the Armory Show in New York and made his first prints which were reproduced in the Italian Futurist publication Lacerba in 1914. He participated in the Salon des Indépendants in 1914 and the Venice Biennale in 1920. During the war years, the artist resided in Cimiez, a suburb of Nice. From 1919 to 1921, he traveled to Geneva, Zurich, Paris, London, Brussels, Athens, and other European cities to exhibit his work. Archipenko’s first solo show in the United States was held at the Société Anonyme, New York, in 1921.

In 1923, he moved from Berlin to the United States, where over the years he opened art schools in New York City; Woodstock, New York; Los Angeles; and Chicago. In 1924, Archipenko invented his first kinetic work, Archipentura. For the next 30 years, he taught throughout the United States at art schools and universities, including the short-lived New Bauhaus. He became a United States citizen in 1928. Most of Archipenko’s work in German museums was confiscated by the Nazis in their purge of “degenerate art.” In 1947, he produced the first of his sculptures that are illuminated from within. He accompanied an exhibition of his work throughout Germany in 1955–56, and at this time began his bookArchipenko: Fifty Creative Years 1908–1958, published in 1960.  His public collections include The Art Institute of Chicago, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, the Guggenheim Museum (New York City), The Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.),The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), The Museum of Modern Art (New York City), The National Museum of Serbia (Belgrade, Serbia), The Nasher Sculpture Center (Dallas, Texas), The National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.),  The Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena, California), The Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice), The Phillips Collection (Washington D.C.), The Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C.),Tate Modern (London), The Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Tel Aviv, Israel)  and the Walker Art Center (Minnesota) among many others.   Archipenko died February 25, 1964, in New York.