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King Solomon

King Solomon, 1963, Bronze
Alexander Archipenko (Ukranian, 1887 – 1964)

Gross Area (sq. ft.): 174"x 66"x 66". Bronze.

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King Solomon was the last sculpture that Ukrainian-born artist Alexander Archipenko made and the only one that he conceived as a monumental sculpture. Throughout his career, Archipenko experimented with positive and negative space in his sculptures, often using voids or holes to suggest form. In King Solomon, he placed abstract shapes together to create the vague shape of a figure. The tall prongs at the top evoke a crown, and the intersecting triangles suggest an imposing archaic costume. Archipenko captured a dramatic sense of scale, and it is easy to imagine how formidable this figure would be if it were enlarged to the 60-foot-tall version that the artist envisioned. In 1985, this bronze came to the University of Pennsylvania campus on extended loan from Mr. Jeffrey Loria, the parent of a Penn student. The statue was donated in honor of Judith Rodin, Penn’s first female president. Located directly across from the Old Penn Hillel building, the sculpture of the biblical king is given extra site-specific significance.

Location: 36th Street Walk, South of Walnut street, Philadelphia PA

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