Between 1935 and 1937 Archipenko lived in California, where he had lectured and exhibited extensively beginning in 1929. He opened an art school at Franklin Avenue in Hollywood and exhibited his works at the nearby Braxton Gallery. During this period he worked primarily in terracotta, often reprising themes from his earlier works. The present sculpture was clearly inspired by Hellenistic sculpture, specifically the Venus de Milo; Archipenko often sought to translate the ideality of classical statuary into the language of modern art. The artist's first attempt in this endeavor was the marble sculpture White Torso of 1916 (for a bronze version of this subject see lot 170). In Hollywood Torso Archipenko again took up this theme, and the purity of its color and form suggests the timelessness of modern, international design.
Frances Archipenko Gray has confirmed the authenticity of this sculpture.