Constantin Brancusi

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Brancusi, Constantin

(bränkyo͞o`zē, Rom. brän`ko͞osh), 1876–1957, Romanian sculptor. Brancusi is considered one of the foremost of modern artists. In 1904 he went to Paris, where he worked under Mercié. He declined Rodin's invitation to work in his studio. Because of his radical, economic style, his abstract sculptures, The Kiss (1908), Sleeping Muse (1910), and the portrait of Mlle Pogany (1923; Musée d'Art moderne, Paris) were the subjects of much controversy. He altered his technique from modeling to carving c.1910. In 1927 Brancusi won a lawsuit against the U.S. customs authorities who attempted to value his sculpture as raw metal. The suit led to legal changes permitting the importation of abstract art free of duty. Brancusi's work is notable for its extreme simplification of form, its organic and frequently symbolic character, and its consummate craftsmanship. He had a profound understanding of materials, working primarily in metal, stone, and wood. Bird in Space (1919; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) is a characteristic work. Others are in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, and in the museums of Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia.


See catalogs by S. Geist (1969, 1975); biographies by I. Jianu (1963), R. Varia (1986), and E. Shanes (1989); studies by S. Geist (1968) and A. T. Spear (1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Brancuşi, Constantin


(Rumanian, C. Brâncusj, or Brîncuşi; French, C. Brancusi). Born Feb. 21, 1876, in the village of Khobitsa, in Oltenia; died Mar. 16, 1957, in Paris. Rumanian sculptor.

Brancuşi studied in fine arts schools in Bucharest (1898-1902) and Paris (1904-07). Most of his life he worked in Paris. He made use of the expressiveness of flowing stylized contours, integrated volumes, and the textures of his materials to create simplified symbolic images (for example, The Kiss, in stone, 1908; Prometheus, marble and bronze, 1911; and the Bird in Space series, bronze, 1912-40). With time he increased the laconic nature and geometric abstractness of his forms. In a number of his works he emerges as one of the founders of the abstract principle in European sculpture. In the central industrial memorial complex of architecture and sculpture on the Street of Heroes in the city of Targu-Jiu (1937-38; Endless Column, metal; Table of Silence, stone; and Gate of the Kiss, stone), he achieved a lapidary simplicity of form, utilizing the traditions of Rumanian national art.


Tsigal’, V. “Konstantin Brankusi.” Tvorchestvo, 1968, no. 8.
Lewis, D. Constantin Brancusi. London, 1957; New York, 1958.
Hăulică, D. Brâncuşi. Bucharest, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
But Godel did also something else by this demonstration, something akin to what Constantin Brancusi had done: nameley, Godel showed that the status of human science today is nowhere near to reaching the high level needed if man is to hope for some degree of godly perfection--we should remember in this sense Brancusi's regret for never having attained Buddhahood!
(7) See Margit Rowell (ed.), Constantin Brancusi 1876-1957, Paris: Gallimard/ Centre Georges Pompidou, 1995, pp.
[10] Iovan, St., Litra, M., Developments in Freight and Passenger Railway, Targu Jiu: "Academica Brancusi" Publisher, Annals of the "Constantin Brancusi" University, Engineering Series, Issue 4/2013, (CONFERENG 2013), ISSN: 1842 - 4856, pag.
This season has been inspired from a trip to Pompidou Centre in Paris, where I came across the reconstruction of the studio of Constantin Brancusi. It was a truly amazing place and his studio was kept exactly as he left it.
038.25:1 vinars ("brandy'); 054.16:6 .Ismeme de bumbac ("men's underwear, made of cotton"); 158.19:7 Vallee Maraia [right arrow] Valea Mare: a place in Romania, not far from Targu Jiu, where Constantin Brancusi accepted the commision for three major sculptures in 1935; well known for its wines; 222.08:9 Mester ("master", "craftsman"); 386.30:3 barrancos [right arrow] Brancusi?; 420.28:2 O'Domnally ("Sir"); 518.28:2 mujic ("peasant"); 518.30:1--Da Domnuley.
Furthermore, Guggenheim Museum in New York was the first museum to ever do a retrospective exhibition of Constantin Brancusi in 1955.
According to Sidney Geist's statement referring to Constantin Brancusi, it might be considered that "Paris and its exotic arts" were not only a "pattern maker influence," but mostly "catalytic influence." (2) Having in mind the same observation, Andrei Plesu added: Grigorescu became "a Romanian countryman" agreeably to Goethe's conception, namely he became himself.
He was exposed there to modernist artists and sculptors - among them Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp and Henry Moore - who influenced his future artistic style.
Palmedo offers schematic historical contexts for Emery's modernist influences in the sculpture of Constantin Brancusi, Naum Gabo, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Isamu Noguchi.
Works by Max Ernst, Tamara de Lempicka, Constantin Brancusi and Paul Gauguin all achieved strong prices, many far exceeding their high estimates.