Constantin Brâncusi (1876-1957)
is undoubtedly one of the most important sculptors of classical modernism.
The Romanian-French artist was born on February 19, 1876 in Boitza. He was one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th Century. He had al lasting influence of the sculptural art. His figures are characterized by the perfection of simplicity and reduction. He once said: Simplicity is not a goal but an unavoidable approximation to the true meaning of things.
The life of Constantin Brâncusi
Constantin Brancusi came to Paris in 1904, studied until 1907 at the École des Beaux-Arts and became friends with Modigliani, Archipenko, Duchamp and Cocteau. He deals with themes of antiquity and elements of African and Romanian folk art and developed these themes in long series of works.
When he met Auguste Rodin in 1906, he was decisively influenced by his statues. In 1907 he became a friend of the sculptor, painter and drawer Amedeo Modigliani. Both influenced the artwork of each other.
The typical style of him was characterized by simplicity and by reductions; Le Baiser was his first sculpture designed with his new style. In 1907 he found his own style. His serial working method is characterized by series such as The Kiss, Bird in Space, Princess X, Négresse Blanche, Endless column and so on. He used materials such as stone, bronze, plaster and wood.
Influences on his works
Bird in Space and The Sleeping Muse are figures of animate objects; however, unlike ones from Ancient Greece or Rome, or those from the High Renaissance period, these statues are more abstract in style. Similar models, but made from materials such as bronze, were also produced by Brancusi and placed in exhibitions.
In 1913 Brâncusi took first time part at the Salon des Indépendants where also his Princess X was presented in 1920. His Princess X was quite provoking because of its phallus shaped form.
Constantin Brâncusi was supposed to create a wide variation of limited themes. His last piece was created by him in 1949 and named The Big Cock. The sculpture was made of gypsum and was a documentary of a last change of his characteristic style.
In 1952 the Romanian citizen received the French citizenship and later handed his complete artwork over to the French government. One year later, on March 16, 1957, the artist passed away after a long disease. He was buried on the Cimetière Montparnasse.
His works are housed in the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the National Museum of Art of Romania (Bucharest), and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), as well as in other major museums around the world. The Philadelphia-Museum of Art currently has the largest collection of his sculptures in the United States.