Alexander Archipenko (born May 30, 1887, Kiev, Ukraine [then Russian Empire]—died February 25, 1964, New York, New York, U.S.), Ukrainian-American artist best known for his original, Cubist-inspired sculptural style.
After studying in Kiev, in 1908 Archipenko briefly attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but he quickly abandoned formal studies to become part of more radical circles, especially the Cubist movement. He began to explore the interplay between interlocking voids and solids and between convex and concave surfaces, forming a sculptural equivalent to Cubist paintings’ overlapping planes and, in the process, revolutionizing modern sculpture. In his bronze sculpture Walking Woman (1912), for example, he pierced holes in the face and torso of the figure and substituted concavities for the convexities of the lower legs. The abstract shapes of his works have a monumentality and rhythmic movement that also reflect contemporary interest in the arts of Africa…
Archipenko lived in New York between 1923 and his death in 1964, except for 1937-39 in Chicago. One of his own sculptures graces his gravesite in the Bronx’ Woodlawn.