Alexander Archipenko

Born: 1887, Kiev
Died: 1964, New York

Sculptor, graphic artist, engraver. Studied at Kiev School of Art (1902–05) and the studio of Sergei Svyatoslavsky in Kiev (1906). Lived and studied in Moscow (1906–08). Moved to Paris (1908), where he briefly attended the École nationale des beaux-arts. Independently studied Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek and Early Gothic sculpture and worked in a Neo-Archaic style (1909). Rented a studio at La Ruche in Montparnasse (1910), where he worked in a three-dimensional Cubist style and revived polychrome sculpture in Médrano I (1912) and Médrano II (1913–14). Opened schools of art in Paris (1912), Berlin (1921), New York (1923), Woodstock (1924) and Chicago (1937). Lived in Cimiez near Nice (1914–18), where he staged a Cubist play called La Vie Humaine (1917). Moved to the United States (1923) and adopted American citizenship (1929). Invented a mechanism for creating the illusion of changeable pictures known as Archipentura and Apparatus for Displaying Changeable Pictures (1924–27). Sculpted realistic busts of Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko and Grand Prince Vladimir of Kiev. Created the first sculptures made from transparent materials (plastics) with interior illumination (1947) and mechanically rotating structures made from wood, metal and mother of pearl (1956). Full member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1962). Died in New York and buried at Woodlawn Cemetery (1964). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1906). Contributed to Salon d’Automne (1910–14), Salon des Indépendants (1911), Section d’Or (1912, 1920, 1921), Armory Show in New York (1913), Cubist exhibition in Prague (1914), Futurist exhibition in Rome (1914), Venice Biennale (1920), Die erste russische Kunstausstellung in the Galerie Van Diemen at 21 Unter den Linden in Berlin (1922), Russian Paintings and Sculpture in the United States (1923–24), Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago (1933), Cubism and Abstract Art in New York (1936) and the Biennale d’Arte Triveneta at Padua in Italy (1959, gold medal). One-man shows at the Museum Folkwang in Hagen in Germany (1912), Galerie der Sturm in Berlin (1913), Société Anonyme in New York (1921), Tokyo (1927), Associated American Artists Galleries in New York (1948), São Paulo in Brazil (1952), Guatemala (1953) and Germany (1955–56) and retrospectives in Potsdam (1921), Rome, Milan and Munich (1963–64), United States and Paris (1967–69) and Tokyo (1974).

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