An exhibition featuring the work of internationally-acclaimed sculptor Alexander Archipenko is coming to the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. From January 29 through April 17, visitors will be able to see nearly fifty works by this pioneer of modern sculpture.
Archipenko: A Modern Legacy, organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Archipenko Foundation, features sculptures, mixed media reliefs, and works on paper that span the artist’s European and American periods. Exhibition curator Alexandra Keiser, research curator with the Archipenko Foundation, explains, “While Archipenko scholars have focused mainly on his early years in France and his contributions to Cubism, it is only now that researchers are examining the artist’s practice, and the reception he received during this later period and his place in the wider structure of avant-garde culture . . . Archipenko initiated a series of
innovations crucial to the advancement of modern sculpture.”
Travelers may recognize Archipenko’s work from museums across the globe, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Guggenheim, Hirshhorn, Kunstmuseum Bern, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Tate Gallery, London, the Whitney and many more.
Archipenko, who was born in the Ukraine, was a leader among the European avant-garde. After attending art school in Kiev and Moscow, he moved to Paris in 1908 and was introduced to many fellow artists including George Braque, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso. His early works combine myriad styles, from Orthodox symbolism and folklore to African, Assyrian, Gothic, and Oceanic sculptural influences. In 1913, he exhibited at the Armory Show in New York, initiating an active schedule of international exhibitions in cities such as Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, London, Paris, Venice, and Zurich.
Archipenko’s interest in pushing the traditional boundaries of sculpture resulted in him gaining recognition as one of the pioneers of modern sculpture. “He experimented with concave and convex shapes as well as with new materials: he re-introduced polychrome into three-dimensional art, and he employed the use of negative space and movement in his attempt to dematerialize the human figure,” says Keiser, but “the human figure and its abstraction remained at the core of Archipenko’s artistic expression.”
Article written by Holly Keris