The Human Form
A new exhibition for sculptor Alexander Archipenko, his first since 2005, opens November 9 in Newyork City
On November 9, Eykyn Maclean in Newyork City will present Alexander Archipenko: Space Encircled, a new solo exhibition that will focus on the Ukrainian-american sculptor and painter’s pioneering use of negative space within the human figure. The exhibition, the first for the artist in New York since 2005, will feature 16 works, including bronzes, terra cotta sculptures and works on paper from the influential avant-garde artist whose work famously appeared at the 1913 Armory Show, one of the first large exhibitions of modern art.
“We have an incredibly wide range of materials, including some really great pieces that really sum up the artist,” says Nicholas Maclean, cofounder of Eykyn Maclean, who adds that many of the pieces focus on the hallmark of his sculpted work.“he used negative space in such a clear and deliberate way. He felt it was important for him to emphasize the space, and he perceived it as part of the composition itself.”
Born in 1887,Archipenko studied art in the early 1900s in Kiev and Moscow before moving to Paris when he was 21 years old. He had influential exhibitions around Europe in the second decade of the 20th century, including the Armory Show in 1913. Even early in his career,arhipenko was highly regarded for his cubist forms, joining the ranks of great artists such as Raymond Duchamp-villon, Georges Braque, Henri Laurens,
Joseph Czaky and Pablo Picasso.
“By the time he arrived in America he was greatly revered, especially in Russia, where his cubist and avantgarde works were quite important to the modern art scenes there,” says Maclean.“i would say that he is still as established in Western Europe—works are in many collections, especially in Germany, France, Switzerland—and the reception to his work has had a long tradition there. Generally, it seems that more people in Europe recognize his
name than in the USA.”
Maclean continues: “What’s impressive about what he did was how he was able to work with the distilled form to produce a cubist sculpture. Certainly Picasso was there at the beginning, as were some other artists, but Archipenko was there from the start, too.when he moved to America it was prudent for his career, but when arrived he was simply less understood than artists like Picasso or Braque, but he was at a critical point with his figures in three dimensions.”
Although Archipenko’s output was steady, he still didn’t produce as much as other artists, and roughly half of his bronzes were cast after his death in 1964, which means a show with this number of works, including lifetime casts and terra cotta works, is an opportunity that is not to be missed. Alexander Archipenko: Space Encircled continues through December 14.
Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), Seated Black, conceived 1934-1936, lifetime cast. Bronze, 21 x 9 x 5 in. Photo by Roz Akin. Artwork © Estate of Alexander Archipenko / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), Boxers, conceived 1913-1914, cast 1964. Bronze, 23½ x 16½ x 16 in. Photo by Roz Akin. Artwork © Estate of Alexander Archipenko / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), Seated Figure, executed 1936. Terracotta, 15½ x 9 x 4 in. Photo by Roz Akin. Artwork © Estate of Alexander Archipenko / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.