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A most unusual man and a most unique artist, the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi (1876-1957), trained initially as a carpenter and stonemason, was a central figure of the modern movement and a pioneer of abstraction. After attending the Bucharest School of Fine Arts, Brancusi traveled to Paris in 1904 where his early influences included African as well as oriental art (and, of course, Romanian folk carvings). Brancusi created his first major work, The Kiss, in 1908. From this time his sculpture became increasingly abstract, moving from the disembodied head of Sleeping Muse to the virtually featureless Beginning of the World and from the formal figure of the legendary bird Măiastra to numerous versions of the ethereal Bird in Space. Brâncuşi decided to make much simpler work and began an evolutionary search for pure form. His sculpture gained international notoriety at the 1913 Armory Show in New York.
In his Paris studio (at 8 Impasse Ronsin), Brâncuşi devoted great attention to the arrangement of his sculptures, documenting individual works and their installation in an important body of photographs.
In the 1930s Brâncuşi worked on two ambitious public sculpture projects, an unrealized temple in India for the Maharajah of Indore and the installation at Târgu Jiu, Romania, of his Gate of the Kiss, Table of Silence and Endless Column (this entire ensemble, together with Heroes Cathedral, dedicated to Romanians heroes on World War I).
On his death Brâncuşi left the contents of his studio to the Museum of Art of the City of Paris, on condition that the studio to be installed in the museum in its entirety. This is now the Atelier Brancusi (near the Pompidou Center in Paris).
Atelier Brancusi in Paris is only the starting point in knowing this great artist. Come to Romania to visit the monumental ensemble in Tg. Jiu and his memorial house in Hobiţa Gorj (a traditional Romanian village).
P.S. - For more info from a summer trip to Paris visit http://here-on-terra.blogspot.com/search/label/France .
article published 9/14/2011