Alexander Archipenko

Ukranian/American , 1887 - 1964

Alexander Archipenko was born in Kiev in 1887. In 1902 he enrolled in the Kiev Art School where he studied painting and sculpture until 1905. While attending school, Archipenko was impressed by the Byzantine icons, frescoes and mosaics of Kiev. After traveling to Moscow, he moved to Paris in 1908 and attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, briefly, before pursuing independent studies at the Musée du Louvre, where he was drawn to Egyptian, Assyrian, archaic Greek and early Gothic sculpture. He began exhibiting at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1910 and, during the year that followed, he showed for the first time at the Salon d’Automne.

Arhipenko was given his first show in Germany in 1912 at the Museum Folkwang Hagen. Also in 1912, in Paris, he opened the first of his many art schools. He joined the Section d’Or group, which included Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, among others. Archipenko exhibited at the Armory Show in New York in 1913 and in 1914 he made his first prints, which were reproduced in the Italian Futurist publication, “Lacerba”. Archipenko participated in the Salon des Indépendants in 1914 and the Venice Biennale in 1920. He resided in a suburb of Nice called Cimiez during the war years. From 1919 to 1921 he exhibited his work in Paris, London, Brussels, Geneva, Zurich, Athens and other European cities. His first solo show in the United States was at the Société Anonyme in New York in 1921.

Archipenko moved from Berlin to the United States in 1923 and, over the years, he opened art schools in New York City, Los Angeles, Woodstock and Chicago. He invented his first kinetic work, "Archipentura” in 1924 and, for the next 30 years, he taught throughout the United States at art schools and universities, including the short-lived New Bauhaus. In 1928, Archipenko became a U.S. citizen. In 1955 and 1956 he accompanied an exhibition of his work throughout Germany and, during the same period, he started his book, “Archipenko: Fifty Creative Years 1908-1958”, published in 1960.
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