chapter
Cubist sculpture–Paris, 1909–1920
WithAlfred H. Barr
Pages 13

Alexander Archipenko, who had studied Egyptian and archaic Greek figures in the Louvre after his arrival in Paris in 1908, was the first to work seriously and consistently at the problem of Cubist sculpture. Archipenko’s Boxing of 1917 is his most abstract work and his most powerful. It embodies the dynamic vigor of his earlier Hero without a trace of the mannered prettiness which characterizes much of his later work. Gaston Duchamp- Jacques Villon had worked under Rodin’s influence, then in a style suggesting Maillol but more severely simplified. His earliest Cubist sculpture like the Lovers was related to a series of architectural decorations. Lipchitz gradually turned to Cubism in 1914 but with frequent reference to Negro sculpture. In 1916 he did a series of “figures” like the Sculpture which were more abstract than any previous sculpture in the Cubist tradition. Other Cubist painters, less at the center of the movement, especially Duchamp and Delaunay, had not ignored dynamic problems.