Archipenko and the Italian Avant Garde

An exploration of the relationship between Ukrainian-born American artist Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964) and the masters of Italian modern art. The show examines the role of Archipenko in the creation of a modernist Italian tradition, and the impact his work had on the development of Italian sculpture in the 20th century.

This ambitious exhibition aims to introduce the British public to an alternative history of modernism by retracing the many moments of exchange and confrontation between Archipenko, one of the twentieth century’s most influential sculptors, and the masters of the Italian avant garde. Archipenko’s works will be shown alongside those of Carlo Carrà, Giorgio de Chirico, Amedeo Modigliani, Enrico Prampolini, Mino Rosso, Gino Severini, Mario Sironi, Thayaht (Ernesto Michahelles) and Ardegno Soffici.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Archipenko spent time in Moscow before settling in Paris in 1909. Finding the work of Rodin inelegant and outdated, he developed an emphatically modern interpretation of sculpture under the influence of Cubist imagery. Between 1911 and 1912 he created a number of truly original works in which human figures were broken down into sections that seemed to move in circles and spirals upon themselves. Equally innovative was his investigation of negative space in sculptural form and his construction of artworks incorporating brightly painted elements in high relief (the so-called ‘sculpto-paintings’). After the First World War, Archipenko’s work became a formal reference point for the new generation of Futurists working in Italy. Among these were Mino Rosso and Thayaht, who adopted Archipenko’s fluid, streamlined forms in their own ‘aerosculptures’ of the 1930s.
Wednesdays-Saturdays 11.00-18.00 | Sundays 12.00-17.00 | Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
Admission £7.50 | Concs £5.50 | Includes entry to exhibition and permanent collection
Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London N1 2AN
Contact telephone: 020 7704 9522 Call to check latest times or cancellations.
Share this page
< Back to List