Olexander Arkhipenko (1887-1964) – a significant avant-garde artist of the XX century.
He was born in Kyiv and lived in his hometown for about 20 years. His father was an engineer-inventor, a professor at the University of Kiev, his grandfather – an icon painter.
In 1902-1905 he studied at the Kiev Art School together with V. Burliuk, A. Bogomazov and A. Lentulov, but was expelled for participating in student strikes in 1905. He continued his education in private studios in Moscow. In 1908 he moved to Paris, where he studied for a short time at the School of Arts.
In 1909-1910 he settled in the international colony of artists “La Ruche” (“Beehive”). Here the creative path brought him together with A. Modigliani. Together they studied in museums ancient sculpture of Egypt, Assyria, Central America, Africa. In 1910 he exhibited his works for the first time in the Salon of Independents, together with O. Exter, K. Malevich, P. Picasso, J. Braque, A. Deren, and others. In the same year, the sculptor opened a workshop on Montparnasse.
O. Arkhipenko is recognized as the ancestor of cubism in sculpture, based on geometric simplification and dynamic contrasts of forms.
The period of departure from the techniques of cubism gave rise to new developments of the sculptor. For the first time in the world of sculptural practice, Archipenko, using the space “inside” and “emptiness”, made figures with through holes as a visual element that shows real forms. The sculptor recalled: “I was still a child when my parents bought two vases for flowers. I had neither of these desires to bring them closer to each other, and what I saw was an intangible transparent third vase formed by space. between two real ones, this is how my theory of empty space, which symbolizes a non-existent object, came into being. Of course, only after many years and after numerous experiments in all their varieties did I really realize it and was delighted. symbols of figures and objects that were not nearby. ”
In America, the work of the sculptor was of constant interest: for forty years there were more than 150 solo exhibitions, taught in his studios in Woodstock, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Bauhaus, at the University of Washington in Seattle, at the Institute of Drawing in Chicago, University of Kansas . During his life O. Archipenko opened his schools around the world: in Germany, France, USA.
The sculptor worked fruitfully until the last day, death caught him on the threshold of his own workshop – it happened in 1964 in New York.