Alexander Archipenko – Ukrainian sculptor

Alexander Archipenko Past

Alexander Archipenko used voids in his works in an original way and skillfully mixed different genres, and also created many works in the styles of realism and constructivism.

Oleksandr Archipenko spent most of his life far outside his homeland, leaving Ukraine as a very young man. He achieved early success in his professional career, traveled a lot around the world and brought up a galaxy of talented students.

Alexander Archipenko In the cafe
In the cafe

Biography of Alexander Archipenko

Alexander Porfiryevich Arkhipenko was born on May 30, 1887 in Kyiv in the family of a professor at a local university. From early childhood, the boy showed talent for art, and his parents supported his son’s passion for drawing and modeling in every possible way. In 1902, Alexander entered an art school, but three years later he, along with a group of comrades, was expelled from an educational institution for participating in street protests during the first Russian revolution.

Fortunately, the 18-year-old boy was able to continue his studies at the private studio of landscape painter Sergei Svitoslavsky, after which he moved to Moscow. For two years he attended evening classes at a local art school, but then he firmly decided to leave the Russian Empire and went to Europe. Wealthy parents provided financial support to their son on time, and already in the fall of 1908, Archipenko became a student at the Paris School of Fine Arts.

Alexander Archipenko Gondolier 1914, cast in bronze in 1957
Gondolier 1914, cast in bronze in 1957

The innovative style of the young sculptor appealed to the discerning Parisian public.

Archipenko became widely known in the French capital and in 1912 opened his own art school. And soon after this event, the master went on a trip to Europe, presenting his work at art exhibitions and receiving well-deserved awards from the organizers.

With the outbreak of the First World War, Alexander Arkhipenko moved to Nice, where he enthusiastically continued to create sculptures in the cubist style. In 1920, he first took part in the prestigious Venice Exhibition, after which he went to Berlin. Here he founded another art school. But the school soon had to be closed due to an acute shortage of funds.

Alexander Archipenko King Solomon smaller version created in 1963
King Solomon smaller version created in 1963

By that time, Archipenko’s works were already well known far beyond Europe

He decided to try his luck in America. In the summer of 1923, he took a boat to New York, where he opened a plastic arts studio. He took up the training of young sculptors. A few years later he moved to Chicago and got a teaching job at the local art academy. In the mid-1930s, Archipenko moved to Kansas City, where he was invited to become a professor at a local university.

Alexander Archipenko Woe

Despite a long stay in exile, the famous artist had good relations with the authorities of the USSR. He repeatedly visited Ukraine, took part in art competitions to create monuments to outstanding figures of literature and art. In 1934, Oleksandr Porfiryevich led the work on the design of the Ukrainian pavilion at the Age of Progress exhibition in Chicago, where his works were placed in a separate room.

For many years, the outstanding master was considered one of the best sculptors of our time; during his lifetime, more than 130 solo exhibitions of his works took place in different countries. He was elected a full member of the American Academy of Arts and received many prestigious awards in international competitions. Being at the zenith of fame, on February 25, 1964, Alexander Archipenko died and was buried in a cemetery in the Bronx.

Woman combing her hair 1914
Woman combing her hair 1914
standing woman
standing woman
Carousel Pierrot.
Carousel Pierrot.
Madonna in the rocks.
Madonna in the rocks.
Woman on her knees.
Woman on her knees.
Like this post? Please share to your friends: