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Figure, 1917

Alexander Archipenko

Russian/American, 1887-1964
Gouache and pencil on wove paper
12-7/8 x 9-7/8 in. (32.7 x 25.1 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
P.1953.256
© 2011 Estate of Alexander Archipenko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Alexander Archipenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine, but moved to Paris by age 22. His contact with the burgeoning style of Cubism and the movement toward abstraction led the artist to discontinue his training at the conservative École des Beaux-Arts. Instead, he studied independently at museums around the city and began to exhibit—mostly sculpture—alongside Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris and Fernand Léger, among others. When World War I began, Archipenko moved to the south of France, but because he did not have a studio, he worked primarily in two-dimensional media. Figure dates to this time and relates a new technique the artist called “sculpto-painting.” The artist described it thus: “Forms are intermixed with the patterns of colors and of the space between them…Sculpto-painting is more effective and diverse in character than the usual painting or uncolored sculpture…it facilitates the expression of the abstract.”

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Artist: Archipenko, Alexander 3 of 9 Previous Previous | Next Next