One of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century, Kiev-born artist Alexander Archipenko (1887–1964) played a central role in the emergence of Modernism. Although Archipenko was known primarily for his sculpture, he also executed a number of drawings, an extraordinary group of which forms the centerpiece of this exhibition.
Alexander Archipenko: The Berlin Drawings features 30 drawings from three sketchbooks created between 1921 and 1923—when Archipenko was living, working, and teaching in Berlin, shortly before he immigrated to the United States. The exhibition also includes three of Archipenko’s sculptures, together with photographs, works on paper, and books from other artists of that time period. All are from the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The drawings, which the Museum recently acquired, depict the female figure in dynamic compositions that embrace emergent Cubist and Futurist styles, as well as Classical themes, Renaissance forms, and Art Deco fashion plates. These works of art show how Archipenko moved gracefully between traditional and modern presentations of the subject.