About this artwork
A pioneering figure in the Russian avant-garde, Polish-born Alexandra Exter was a painter and designer active in Moscow and Kiev before settling in Paris in 1924 to teach painting and design at Fernand Léger’s Académie Moderne. In her diverse body of work, Exter drew on Cubist, Futurist, and Constructivist forms to dynamic and experimental ends. Robot is one of a series of marionettes the artist made in 1926 for an unrealized film. Her inventive figurines draw on some of the most revolutionary developments in the 20th century, including mechanization, unexpected art materials, assemblage and collage, and abstraction. Robot shows Exter’s great wit and ingenuity: to make the robot’s head and torso, she used glass where the face would normally appear to play on the faculties of sight and made an accordion of cardboard cubes at the chest to suggest the act of breathing.
- Alexandra Exter
- Cardboard, fabric, wood, glass, and string
- h. 20 in. (50.8 cm)
- Block, Serlin and Saidenberg Fund; through prior gifts of Mr. and Mrs. Carter H. Harrison, Arthur Keating, Albert Kunstadter Family Foundation