Today's Hours
Museum: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Spring Awakening
Spring Torso, front view
Spring Torso, back view
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A key member of the avant-garde in Paris in the early 20th century, Alexander Archipenko chose the title of this stylized nude from a controversial (and scandalous) German play about the sexual awakening of a young woman. Archipenko had already become famous as one of the earliest Cubist sculptors, second only to Picasso in employing the style in a three-dimensional form. He abandoned the Academic style taught to him in Kiev, studying the simple and solid forms of early Egyptian, Greek, and Assyrian art as well as avant-garde innovations, choosing instead of now static neo-classical forms to use faceted planes and negative space to depict the human figure. That was only one of his stylistic innovations, however. Influenced by the stylized Byzantine images with which he had grown up, he continued to simplify and elongate forms. Favoring the female figure, Archipenko interpreted it freely in abstract form fusing mass and space in a rhythmic interplay that suggested movement. He continued to innovate, by 1924 incorporating motors into his sculpture that made certain parts move, calling this genre Archipentura. His later sculpture continued to grow more complicated and decorative with extensive use of color.