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“Archipenko: The Parisian Years”

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

The two shows of sculptures by Alexander Archipenko—work done in Paris, where the artist lived until 1921, at the MoMA; subsequent, New York work at the Danenberg Galleries—give us a chance to renew acquaintance with one of the most gifted sculptors of the heyday of the modernist movement. Gifted, yes, but important? In the last one-man show Archipenko had in New York, at the Perls Galleries in 1962, his works were dated in such a way as to present Archipenko as the originator of most of the seminal ideas of 20th-century sculpture; but as some readers will remember, these dates were questioned almost at once, by Mr. Alfred Barr among many others. Obviously, what one thinks about Archipenko’s early production inevitably depends on what one thinks of the claims that were made on that occasion for and against its priority. My own position was against that of what can be called the revisionists—as,

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