Lot 1
  • 1

Alexander Archipenko

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • Alexander Archipenko
  • Seated Figure
  • Signed Archipenko.
  • Polychrome wood
  • Height: 10 1/2 in.
  • 26.6 cm
  • Created circa 1917.


Nancy H. Sternberger, Baltimore 

Acquired from the above


(possibly) Geneva, Exposition Internationale d'Art Moderne, 1919, no. 25 (titled Femme Assise)

Venice, XII Esposizione Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, Russian Pavillion: Mostra Individuale di Alexandre Archipenko, 1920, no. 18 

Catalogue Note

Seated Figure is a stunning example of Archipenko’s exploration of the possibilities of polychrome sculpture. The contrast between the lighter and darker blues plays with and against the concave and convex lines and surfaces, giving the work a strikingly dynamic quality. The use of concave and convex volumes is the hallmark of the artist’s best work and the unique character of the Seated Figure deftly shows Archipenko's early explorations of these sculptural possibilities.

Upon his arrival in Paris in 1908, Archipenko took a radical approach to sculpture. In Paris, he was inspired by the works he saw in the Louvre including the deft handling of polychrome in the ancient Egyptian sculptures in the museum’s collection. Archipenko discussed his adoption and use of polychrome, stating: “What is the cause of the weakening of the spirit which in the past guided artists in the creation of magnificent polychrome sculpture?... [In] our daily mobile environment colors change into forms and forms into colors and there are no forms without colors…. Spiritually, esthetically, emotionally, creatively and symbolically, [form-color] interactions are as rich as the variations in a symphony, in which one musical phrase interfuses with another, thereby evoking multiple reactions in the individual” (A. Archipenko, Fifty Creative Years, 1908-1958, New York, 1960, pp. 54-45).