Lot 134
  • 134

Alexander Archipenko

400,000 - 600,000 USD
444,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Alexander Archipenko
  • Turning Torso
  • Marble


Private Collection, California (acquired in the 1920s)
Thence by descent


Alexander Archipenko, Archipenko, Fifty Creative Years 1908-1958, New York, 1960, no. 118, illustration of another example n.p.
Donald H. Karshan, Archipenko International Visionary, Washington, D.C., 1969, no. 38 illustration of the bronze version p. 63 
Alexander Archipenkos Erbe Werke von 1908 bis 1963 aus dem testamentarischen Vermächtnis (exhibition catalogue), Moderne Galerie des Saarland-Museums, Saarbrücken, 1986, no. 47, illustration of another example p. 109
Anette Barth, Alexander Archipenkos plastisches Oeuvre, Frankfurt, 1997, no. 245, illustration of the plaster version p. 253
Alexander Archipenko (exhibition catalogue), Saarlandmuseum, Saarbrücken, 2008, nos. 51 & 52, illustrations of plaster versions pp. 114 & 115

Catalogue Note

The sensuous Turning Torso, carved from marble and smoothly polished, celebrates Archipenko's sensitivity toward the intricacy of the human form. The theme of the female torso had a prominent place in the sculptor's oeuvre, and the present work, one of his first attempts at rendering this part of the body in isolation, is perhaps his finest and most seductive. 

Turning Torso 
was executed in the early 1920s, when Archipenko was living in Berlin with his new wife Angelika, the main inspiration for the female figures he executed during this period. At this point in his career, the artist was turning his attention away from the Cubist works which had made him famous, and moving toward more naturalistic representations of the human form. Turning Torso was conceived in the midst of this creative awakening, and the technical precision and grace with which it was rendered speaks of the artist's passion for this new mode of representation and for his model. 

Early carved marbles by Archipenko appear very rarely on the market, and the present work, recently rediscovered in a private California collection, is one of only a few extant marble versions of this particular form. Archipenko later made two bronze editions of Turning Torso during his lifetime, underscoring its great significance in the context of his oeuvre. Another marble example of similar coloration may be found in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.