Bathing Female Figure
Plaster and papiermâché on internal wire frame
Inv. No. St. P 416 (property of the Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.)
Painting or sculpture? Both! Executed during World War I, this work was the spark that triggered Archipenko’s so-called sculpto-painting, an explicitly attempt to combine both genres. The freestanding figure consists of an internal wire frame covered with a body of papier-mâché and plaster. The latter is painted with a Cubist female nude, which is continued illusionistically beyond the sculpture’s angular handling of the space. As early as the 1920s, this work was regarded an innovation in the spirit of Cubism and displayed at important exhibitions in Paris, Venice, Berlin, and Prague.