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Exhibit of the works of Alexander Archipenko "Preserved in Ukraine". NAMU. 04.12.2001-02.01.2002, Kiev.


Organized by: Prof. Dmytro Horbachov , Iryna Horbachova (Deputy Director, NAMU, Kiev). 
NAMU, address: 5 Hrushevsky Str., 01001, Kiev. Tel. (38-044) 238-74-54. 


In the National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, an international scientific conference Arkhipenko and World Culture will be held. Contributors from France, Poland, Russia, Ukraine will take part in the conference. One of the contributors is Dmytro Horbachov who will make a presentation entitled An Archaist and Futurist All in One.


An exhibit of the works of Kyivite Alexander Archipenko, an artists of almost planetary signif­icance, is at last taking place in his hometown.

In the 20th cent. Ukraine gave birth to artists who were pacesetters-originators of artistic trends which they dictated to the world and which the world accepted.

In the past, some Ukrainian artists had international authority; Alimpiy Pecherskyi (11 th cent.), Andriy Rusyn, a court painter of the Polish King Jagiello (15th cent.), Dmytro Levytskyi, Volodymyr Borovykovskyi, Illya Repin - court painters of various Russian Emperors. But their effect was only local.
Yet, the 20th cent, innovators - K. Malevych (Kyiv), 0. Ekster (Kyiv), V. Tatlin (Kharkiv), D. Burliuk (Kherson), reformed the artistic conscience of the world.

Alexander Archipenko was part of this group. The first cubist in sculpture, one could say, like Picasso in sculpture, he became the unquestionable authority for Henry Moore, Giacometti,
Neizviestnyi. Archipenko had followers in Ukraine as well - Ivan Kavaleridze - author of the first cubist monument in the world (monument to Artem (1927) in Slavianohorsk).

Countries where Archipenko lived and taught - France, Germany, the United States pride themselves of his presence in their cultural environment, and their most outstanding museums have acquired Archipenko's works for their collections: Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim and the Modern Art Museum in New York as well as museums of Stockholm, Tel-Aviv and Moscow, to name a few.
Archipenko in his early work anticipated some of the most important developments in con­temporary art. He was one of the early moderns to reintroduce color as an important element of sculpture. He introduced many of the plastic innovations in modern sculpture and was the first to experiment in the cubist-abstract idiom by using both convex and concave surfaces. He was master of the ovoid, the hollow and the faceless in the carved design. His accomplishments as an innovator are being continually studied and analyzed by art historians even today.

His personal exhibits during his life and after - number a few hundred.
Today, Kyives finally have the opportunity to honor their own Great Archipenko. The exhibit "Preserved in Ukraine" contains a small part of his artistic heritage which numbers in the thousands.
From it is the sculpture "Woman combing her hair" in the collection of the National Art Museum — innovative in the Archipenko style - instead of the beauty's face - a plastic pause.
In 1929, while living in the United States, Archipenko presented the sculpture "Conductor V. Mengelberg performing Beethoven's 9th Symphony' to Kyiv. In the likeness of the Dutch conductor we observe baroque characteristics: suffering, assymetry, wavy plasticity. Later on this work was acquired by the National Art Museum.

The sculpture "Shevchenko - the Prophet" is also in the Museum's collection. Not long ago it was donated by the Parisian collectioner Arystyd Virsta.

The exhibited drawings were at one time presented by Archipenko himself to the National Museum in Lviv. Fortunately they survived to this day in contrast to two paintings and one sculpture destroyed by Stalinist barbarians in 1952, which Archipenko had also donated to the Lviv Museum. They survived due to the ingenuity of museum workers in the midst of a purge by a "State Commission on Art" avidly destroying works of "formalists," "nationalists", "emigrants" (which included Archipenko). The museum workers simply labeled the drawings on exhibit today as "unknown artist."

The American period of the artist is represented by a small painting of the "Nude",powerful in its expressive content.

The paintings reveal the hand of the sculptor - whose manner was described in the West as both "tender and stern".

And, finally, two absolutely unknown works dated 1906 - from a private collection represent the artist's Kyiv period - which is known to us only from archives. "Landscape" painted at a time when he studied with the Kyiv artist S. Svitoslavskyi and pastel "Nude" which despite its student character previews some characteristcs of the future mature Archipenko.

The exhibit "Preserved in Ukraine" should be viewed as a promise of an all-encompassing exposition of the works of the Great Master in his Motherland, which might bear the title of "Preserved in the Whole World".

Iryna Horbachova


Works of Alexander Archipenko on the exhibit:


Act. 1906. Pastel on board. 65 by 45 cm. Private collection. Details...


Nude. 1926. Oil on board. 28,3 by 18 cm. Private collection, Ukraine. Detailed...

To increase...

The conductor V.Mengelberg during performance of 9-th symphony of Bethoven. 1925. Bronze. NAMU, Kiev. To increase...

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