Lot 124
  • 124

Alexander Archipenko

Estimate
250,000 - 350,000 USD
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

  • Alexander Archipenko
  • Geometric Figure with Space and Concave
  • Inscribed Archipenko, dated Paris 1920, numbered 2/8, inscribed Concave et l'Espace and with the artist's runes
  • Bronze
  • Height: 25 1/2 in.
  • 64.7 cm

Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist

Literature

Theodor Däuber & Iwan Goll, Archipenko Album, Potsdam, 1921, no. 17, illustration of the plaster cast (titled Sitzende Frau)
Iwan Goll, "Archipenko," in Action, Paris, 1921, illustration of another cast p. 58
Hans Hildebrandt, Alexander Archipenko, Berlin, 1923, no. 13, illustration of the plaster cast (titled Sitzende Frau)
Maurice Raynal, A. Archipenko, Rome, 1923, no. 26, illustration of another cast (titled Femme assise)
Alexander Archipenko, Fifty Creative Years, 1908-1958, New York, 1960, no. 178, illustration of the terracotta (titled Geometric Figure Seated)
Katherine Jánszky Michaelsen, Archipenko, A Study of the Early Works, 1908-1920, New York & London, 1977, no. S106, illustration of the plaster cast (titled Seated Woman)
Anette Barth, Alexander Archipenkos plastisches Oeuvre, vol. I, Frankfurt am Main, 1997, no. 106, illustrations of the plaster casts pp. 219-21 (titled Geometric Figure Seated)

Catalogue Note

Archipenko first conceived this sculpture around 1920 when he was living and working in Paris. Surrounded by the best-known avant-garde artists of this period, he was exposed to a myriad of influences that impacted his art. Cubism, which had made its debut over a decade earlier, was now being revised at the encouragement of dealers like Léonce Rosenberg in order to appeal to a wider audience. Several of the successful Cubist artists, including Picasso, Léger, and Lipchitz, were heeding this "call to order" and Archipenko followed suit.  Unlike the highly abstract and fragmented Cubist compositions of his earlier years, Archipenko's Cubist sculptures after WWI are characterized by a purity of form and linear precision.  The present sculpture, created at the height of this period known as "Salon Cubism," demonstrates the refined aesthetic that characterized the most innovative sculptures of this era.

According to the Archipenko Foundation, the artist made casts of this sculpture at three separate times during his life. The earliest known plaster cast, referred to as Seated Woman, is in the collection of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. A second version, which the artist himself referred to as Geometric Figure Seated, was created around 1954 in metalized terracotta. The bronze edition, cast from a third version called Geometric Figure with Space and Concave now in the Saarland Museum in Saarbrücken, Germany, was completed under the supervision of the Archipenko estate by the Sheidow Foundry in 1968.  

In the literature on the artist, the present sculpture is commonly referred to as Seated Woman, after Archipenko's first plaster cast.  In her book on the artist's early works, Katherine Jánszky Michaelsen has written the following: "Seated Woman employs similar forms, but in a more elaborate and complicated combination. Unlike the predictable symmetrical views of Standing Woman, this work offers an unexpected view from every side. The pyramidal base, placed atop a square slab, adds a rotating movement to the piece and invites viewing from all sides. This circular movement is increased by the oblique form, representing the hips. More so than in the previous work, which retains a certain organic fluidity, in Seated Woman the human anatomy is used as a vehicle, as a form that is universally recognized" (Katherine Jánszky Michaelsen, Archipenko, A Study of the Early Works, 1908-1920, New York and London, 1977, pp. 83-84).

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