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Angelica, 1922

Alexander Archipenko

Russian/American, 1887-1964
Drypoint on tan wove paper
comp: 6 5/8 x 4 1/4 in. (16.8 x 10.8 cm) ; sheet: 12 3/4 x 10 in. (32.4 x 25.4 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection

Not on view

Whereas his early works show a predilection for the reduction of forms, throughout the 1910s Alexander Archipenko became increasingly interested in Cubism. He participated in several exhibitions alongside Juan Gris, Jacques Villon and Marcel Duchamp, among others. The tension between two and three dimensions in Archipenko’s work was perhaps best resolved in his sculpto-relief paintings, but his two-dimensional work nonertheless retains suggestions of this struggle. Here, in a portrait of his wife, Angelica Schmitz (1893–1957), the volumetric crosshatching of cheek, neck and shoulder against the outlines of nose, chin and hair call into play the dialogue of telescoping depth. Not long after the portrait was completed, the Archipenkos moved to New York, where Alexander opened an art school.

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