Alexander Archipenko was a Ukrainian and American avant-garde artist, sculptor, and graphic artist. He was one of the first to apply the principles of Cubism to architecture, analyzing human figure into geometrical forms. Archipenko was one of the first artists to exhibit Cubist works in Paris, at the Salon des Indépendants and Salon d'Automne, 1910 and 1911. Archipenko departed from the neo-classical sculpture of his time, using faceted planes and negative space to create a new way of looking at the human figure, showing a number of views of the subject simultaneously. He is known for introducing sculptural voids, and for his inventive mixing of genres throughout his career: devising 'sculpto-paintings', and later experimenting with materials such as clear acrylic and terra cotta.
Archipenko was the first artist to participate in the groundbreaking Summer Sessions held at Mills College. In 1933 and 1934 he was a guest instructor at Mills and had solo exhibitions at the Mills College Art Museum.