Formes Vivantes: Alexander Archipenko as Graphic Artist
A landmark exhibition of the avant-garde sculptor Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), concentrating on Archipenko's work as a graphic artist. The exhibition presents both two- and three-dimensional art, and highlights the series of prints that Archipenko produced in 1963 while in residence at the Galerie Im Erker in St. Gallen, Switzerland, just before his death. Titled Les Formes Vivantes, this portfolio of ten lithographs is considered the crowning achievement of Archipenko's printmaking career, and has rarely before been exhibited in public.
On display are 15 of Archipenko's 54 known prints. The exhibited work spans the entirety of the artist's career, from his early years in Paris (1908-1921) to his brief period in Berlin (1921-1923) through his later years in the United States (1923-1964). Not to be missed is an incredibly rare lithograph from the artist's Berlin period entitled Two Figures (1921). Besides this individual gem, the entire exhibition is centered upon an incredible series of 10 large lithographic prints entitled Les Formes Vivants (Living Forms, 1963). This series of prints produced at Erker-Presse in St. Gallen Switzerland can be considered the culmination and crowning achievement of Archipenko's entire artistic career. In the lines and forms of these monumental works on paper one can find reflections of the many sculptural innovations for which the artist is so famous: the incorporation of "void" or negative space into the composition, the geometric abstraction of the human form, the dynamic interplay of concavity vs. convexity, and the highly refined utilization of kineticizism and moveable objects - all of these elements come together and come to life in the vibrancy of his living forms.