Signed, on surface of base: Archipenko; inscribed, bottom edge of base, at rear: KUNST F.DRY N.Y.
Alexander Archipenko produced White Torso in 1916, while residing in a villa at Cimiez, a suburb of Nice, where he remained throughout World War I. Marble, bronze, and plaster versions of this sculpture exist. The graceful nude form was a central focus of Archipenko’s work throughout his career. In his quest for purity, the artist represented the body as a simple arrangement of abstract volumes. Archipenko used polished metal that reflects the light to emphasize the qualities of the object’s surface and its interaction with the surrounding space.
Working mainly in sculpture, Archipenko was an artist who strove endlessly for innovation and creative invention in his work. Extremely ambitious and independent, he was forced to leave the School of Art in Kiev in 1905 after three years of study because he criticized the academic approach of his teachers. Later, in Paris, following only two weeks of instruction at the École des Beaux-Arts, he decided to turn to the collections of the Musée du Louvre for his education. Although he always resisted being defined by any specific movements, Archipenko’s early work resonates with the sculpture of his contemporaries, as well as the aesthetic notions of Cubism.
From the 2019 exhibition Cubism and Its Aftershocks, curated by John R. Stomberg Ph.D, Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director
Born and trained in Kyiv, Alexander Archipenko was forced to leave the School of Art in Ukraine after three years of study because he criticized the conservative approach of his teachers. He moved to France in 1909, where he joined a community of displaced Ukrainian artists who likewise sought to escape war and conflict in their homeland.
Archipenko produced White Torso in the midst of World War I, during which he remained in France. The polished metal reflects the light, emphasizing the object’s surface and abstracting the human figure. The artist’s focus on the relatable form and representation of the naked body serves as a reminder of our shared humanity and our capacity for creative resilience.
The Hood Museum of Art stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and all those who are suffering and displaced as a result of the unprovoked acts of war and affronts to Ukrainian sovereignty.
From the 2022 special exhibition of this sculpture, curated by Jami Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art; Elizabeth Mattison, Assistant Curator of Academic Programming; and Ashley Offill, Associate Curator of Collections
ARTH 41.02, 20th Century European Art 1900-1945, Katie Hornstein, Fall 2021
Celebrating Twenty Years: Gifts in Honor of the Hood Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 11-December 12, 2005.
Cubism and Its Aftershocks, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-February 16, 2020.
European Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Jaffe Hall Galleries, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 30, 2008-March 8, 2009.
The Beauty of the Bronze: Selections from the Hood Museum of Art, Gene Y. Kim Class of 1985 Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, October 13, 2012-March 18, 2014.
Katherine W. Hart et al., Celebrating Twenty Years: Gifts in Honor of the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New Hampshire: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2005, pp. 52, ill. p. 53, cat. no. 17.
T. Barton Thurber, European Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2008, p.101, ill., no. 51.
Perls Galleries, New York, New York; sold to Harry T. Lewis, Jr., Denver, Colorado, June 24, 1983; given to present collection, 2004.
This record is part of an active database that includes information from historic documentation that may not have been recently reviewed. Information may be inaccurate or incomplete. We also acknowledge some language and imagery may be offensive, violent, or discriminatory. These records reflect the institution’s history or the views of artists or scholars, past and present. Our collections research is ongoing.
We welcome questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvement. Please contact us at: Hood.Collections@dartmouth.edu