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).

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.
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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
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Furthermore, Guggenheim Museum in New York was the first museum to ever do a retrospective exhibition of Constantin Brancusi in 1955.
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Sleeping Girl' is one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century, counting iconic depictions of women by Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi and Amedeo Modigliani among its peers," commented Tobias Meyer, Sotheby's Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art.
Inspired by diverse European artists such as Joan Miro, Paul Klee, Constantin Brancusi and Pablo Picasso, they created work (complete with poetic titles) that they termed 'objets' borrowing the French term.
He quickly became a regular visitor to "291," where he was exposed to the latest trends in European art through groundbreaking exhibitions of works by Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Constantin Brancusi.
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