Alexander Archipenko

Alexandre Archipenko;Aleksandr Archipenko;Oleksandr Archipenko

1887 (Kiev, now Kyiv) – 1964 (New York)

Archipenko is a paradox: a genuinely influential pioneer of modernist sculpture whose works, even at their best, now look stylised and undemanding. He knew Pevsner from Kyiv, and hooked up again in Paris. Arriving there aged 22, he met Léger, Modigliani, Gaudier-Brzeska, Cendrars and Apollinaire (who wrote his first catalogue introduction) at the artists’ colony La Ruche. Chagall and Altman were among the Russians congregating there. He joined the Duchamp brothers’ Puteaux group (Gris another member) and was visited by Boccioni. In America, Moholy gave him a position in Chicago, where Smith was among his students.