Alexander Archipenko (Kiev, 1887 – New York, 1964) began his artistic education in his hometown. In 1906 he moved to Moscow and in 1908 to Paris, where he began exhibiting his work alongside the Cubist artists. Resulting from his experimentation with material techniques and forms, Archipenko produced sculpture-paintings, plaster reliefs he molded and painted using the principle of collage, joining planes diagonally and curving them to achieve effects of light and shadow.
He spent World War I at a villa in Cimiez near Nice. At the end of the conflict, between 1919 and 1921, his works were exhibited in various European cities and at the Venice Biennale. After marrying sculptor Angelica Bruno-Schmitz in 1921 he moved to Berlin where he opened an art school. That year MoMA in New York organized his first solo exhibition in the United States. In 1923 he moved to New York. He created a summer art school in Woodstock and invented a system of dynamic painting that he called Archpainting, dedicated to Thomas Alva Edison and Albert Einstein. During the years of the Nazi regime, most of his works in the collections of German museums were confiscated as they were considered to be “degenerate” art. He achieved international recognition between 1963 and 1964 with a grand retrospective that traveled to Rome, Milan, and Munich.