Alexander Archipenko

Alexander Archipenko (* May 30, 1887 in Kiev, Ukraine, † February 25, 1964 in New York, NY ) was an American sculptor of Ukrainian origin. He is among the pioneers of modern sculpture.


Archipenko was the son of a mechanic and studied from 1902 to 1905 painting and sculpture at the Art Academy in Kiev. After a reprimand for rebellion against academic teaching methods in 1906 he worked independently in Moscow. In 1908 he left to get Russia to catch up with the modern Western European sculpture. He first moved to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux- Arts, which he left due to the local conception of art. In 1911 he opened his first art school, joined the Section d'Or in 1912 and met, among others, Pablo Picasso.

At the beginning of his career he formed stylized objects with flowing shapes. In 1910 he transferred the first sculptor Cubism on the plastic and developed the so-called Skulpto Painting by 1910 until 1914. It figures emerged with empty spaces where convex shapes passed into concave. The border woman from the year 1912 was one of the first examples of this new direction. Since 1910, he exhibited his works from and after 1919 both in Europe and in the United States. From 1920 to 1923 he lived in Berlin, where he founded another school of art.

In 1921 he married Gela Forster, born Angelica Schmitz, a young sculptor, who he met in Dresden, where she was a member of the Dresden Secession. She was the daughter of the architect Bruno Schmitz, her mother was a singer. In another marriage, he was married to Frances Archipenko Gray.

1923 emigrated to America from the Archipenko, first to New York, where Archipenko taught at various art schools, as of 1935/36, at Washington State University, and in Chicago in 1937, the " School of Fine Arts Creative " founded. Also, where he taught at, founded by László Moholy -Nagy, "New Bauhaus ". He developed in 1924 a moving painting that Archipentura. In 1939 he returned to New York. In 1946 he experimented with light to internally illuminated sculptures of transparent materials such as Plexiglas and others.


Archipenko put the Saarland Museum (Saarbrücken ) an heir to his plaster models. The rich holdings of original plasters the pioneer of the sculpture of the 20th century is one of the most precious and thereby conservation sophisticated estimating the Saarland Museum. Since his first solo exhibition at the Folkwang Museum ( Hagen) in 1912 Archipenko had his life maintained contacts with German museums and exhibition spaces. In 1960, the then Director of the Saarland Museum Rudolf Born bill straightened the already internationally recognized sculptor from a major retrospective. The bond of friendship that developed between it and Archipenko Born bill, moving the artist to determine the Saarland Museum heir of 107 of his plaster models. With the newly acquired subsequently bronzes other works Archipenko the Saarbrücken collection provides a nearly complete overview of the artistic development of the sculptor from 1908 to 1963 ..

Exhibitions (selection)