Cubist principles

The Ukrainian-American sculptor Alexander Archipenko is one of the first artists to apply the principles of cubism to sculpture. This piece is composed of geometric shapes. For example, one of the hips is an oval, simultaneously concave and convex. The chest section consists of a roughened surface with a contrasting, smooth round ball as a breast. 

Open, concave shape

There is an opening in the place of the head. This makes the sculpture the first example of Archipenko’s use of an open, concave shape as a counterpart to the volume and mass. Later, he develops this idea further, which would become a central element in cubist sculpture. 

Early development

The pedestal has an unusual shape: round on the left side and square on the right. This shape and the off-centre position of the statuette, up against the right side of the pedestal, increase the dynamism of the whole. Geometric statuette, together with Torso, which is also in the collection of the museum, shows Archipenko’s early development.