Born in Kiev, Alexander Archipenko studied painting and sculpture there before moving to Paris in 1908. In France he absorbed the foundations of Cubism, which permeates into his fragmented and elongated figures. Archipenko was particularly fascinated with space, volume, and voids (the holes or negative spaces) that are created when working in three dimensions. In his rhythmic sculpture, these elements act together to produce curvilinear forms.
Archipenko experimented with many media, including wood, plaster, clay, terracotta, marble, and bronze. Torso in Space was executed in 1936, after Archipenko moved to the United States in 1923; this figurative abstraction relates to his early marbles of 1915. A similar edition of this work, cast in chrome-plated bronze in 1946, belongs to the Addison Gallery of American Art, at Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts.