Alexander Archipenko was born in Kiev, (Russian Empire, now Ukraine) in 1887, to Porfiry Antonowych Archipenko and Poroskowia Vassylivna Machowa Archipenko; he was the younger brother of Eugene Archipenko.
From 1902 to 1905 he attended the Kiev Art School (KKHU). In 1906 he continued his education in the arts at Serhiy Svetoslavsky (Kiev), and later that year had an exhibition there with Alexander Bogomazov. He then moved to Moscow where he had a chance to exhibit his work in some group shows.
Archipenko moved to Paris in 1908 and was a resident in the artist’s colony La Ruche, among émigré Ukrainian artists: Wladimir Baranoff-Rossine, Sonia Delaunay-Terk and Nathan Altman. After 1910 he had exhibitions at Salon des Indépendants, Salon d’Automne together with Aleksandra Ekster, Kazimir Malevich, Vadym Meller, Sonia Delaunay-Terk, Georges Braque, André Derain and others.
In 1912 Archipenko had his first personal exhibition at the Museum Folkwang at Hagen in Germany, and from 1912 to 1914 he was teaching at his own Art School in Paris.