By the early 1920s Archipenko's reputation as a leading avant-garde sculptor was firmly established. During this period he was honored with one-man exhibitions in Venice and New York, and was included in numerous group shows throughout Europe and America. His popularity was such that no less than six monographs of his work were published between 1921 and 1924.
While the formative years of Archipenko's career had been spent working in Paris and Nice, it was the progressive environment of Berlin that captured his interest following the First World War and by 1921 Archipenko had moved to Berlin and founded an art school. The shift away from Paris was the outcome of his long-standing association with two German patrons, Karl-Ernst Osthaus and Herwarth Walden. Osthaus had organized Archipenko's first large show at the Folkwang Museum in Hagen in 1912 and Walden gave him a one-man exhibition at the Der Sturm Gallery in Berlin in 1913.
Archipenko's work from his years in Berlin is markedly different from that of his French period. Katherine J. Michaelsen notes that, "Archipenko abandoned his bold, innovative experiments of the previous decade and assumed a mannered naturalistic style," placing a greater emphasis on the female form (Alexander Archipenko, A Centenial Tribute, Washington, D. C., 1986, exh. cat., p. 55). The model for Standing Nude is Angelika Schmitz (1893-1957) whom Archipenko married in 1921. Famed for her beauty and statuesque physique, Angelika was a highly regarded expressionist sculptor who exhibited under the name of Gela Forster. Along with Otto Dix, she founded the Suzession Gruppe 1919 and was its only female member. Standing Nude was conceived in 1921 and the present sculpture was cast in 1922. The following year the couple moved to America.