Alexander Archipenko’s celebrated depictions of the human form take centre stage at Eykyn Maclean gallery in New York from November 9 to December 14 – the first solo exhibition devoted to the late artist in the city since 2005. A contemporary of Picasso and Braque, Archipenko is best known for pushing the boundaries of sculpture and cubism, and subverting the concept of the solid sculpture with space around it – creating voids within the artworks themselves. “He explored the groundbreaking use of negative space, a term he entitled ‘space encircled’,” says Nicholas Maclean, co-founder of the gallery. Diverse works from Archipenko’s oeuvre will go on show, highlighting the avant-garde artist’s passion for mixed media and the radical methods of production that contributed to his sculptural style.
The show, entitled Alexander Archipenko: Space Encircled, has been organised in collaboration with noted fine-art consultant and Archipenko Foundation and Estate representative Matthew Stephenson, and includes important sculpted pieces ($75,000-$1m), such as Boxers, a bronze statue depicting athletes in motion; Seated Figure – a bright terracotta figurine measuring 15.5in, executed in 1936; and Seated Woman Combing her Hair, 1915, which all epitomise Archipenko’s application of cubism to statuary. “Sculpto-paintings” – a process devised by the artist combining both disciplines to create dynamic, textural art – really steal the limelight. Take Oval Figure, a wood, metal and Bakelite collage from 1957. Works on paper include Form on Blue Background, a striking gouache and pencil drawing on azure poster board from 1962 (prices for these pieces range from $35,000 to $75,000). “We are thrilled to reintroduce one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century to a New York audience,” says Maclean.