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Artists Constantin Brâncuși
Constantin Brâncuși Photo

Constantin Brâncuși

French-Romanian Photographer and Sculptor

Movements and Styles: Dada, Cubism

Born: February 19, 1876 - Hobitza, Romania

Died: March 16, 1957 - Paris, France

Constantin Brâncuși Timeline

Quotes

"They are imbeciles who call my work abstract; that which they call abstract is the most realistic, because what is real is not the exterior form but the idea, the essence of things."
Constantin Brâncuși
"Simplicity is not an end in art, but we usually arrive at simplicity as we approach the true sense of things."
Constantin Brâncuși
"Don't look for obscure formulas or mystery in my work. It is pure joy that I offer you. Look at my sculptures until you see them. Those closest to God have seen them."
Constantin Brâncuși
"Matter must continue its natural life when modified by the hand of the sculptor."
Constantin Brâncuși
"When you see a fish you don't think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through the water... If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movement, give a pattern or shape of reality. I want just the flash of its spirit."
Constantin Brâncuși
"Create like a god; command like a king; work like a slave."
Constantin Brâncuși

"What my work is aiming at is, above all, realism: I pursue the inner, hidden reality, the very essence of objects in their own intrinsic fundamental nature; this is my only deep preoccupation."

Constantin Brâncuși Signature

Synopsis

Constantin Brâncuși is often regarded as the most important sculptor of the 20th century. His visionary sculptures often exemplify ideal and archetypal representations of their subject matter. Bearing laconic titles such as Fish, Princess X, and Bird in Space, his sculptures are deceptively simple, with their reduced forms aiming to reveal hidden truths. Unlike the towering figure of Auguste Rodin, for whom Brâncuși briefly assisted early in his career, Brâncuși worked directly with his materials, pioneering the technique of direct carving, rather than working with intermediaries such as plaster or clay models.

Key Ideas

Explaining that "The artist should know how to dig out the being that is within matter," Brancusi sought to create sculptures that conveyed the true essence of his subjects, be they animals, people, or objects by concentrating on highly simplified forms free from ornamentation. While many regarded his art as abstract, the artist disagreed; he insisted on the representational nature of his works, asserting that they disclosed a fundamental, often concealed, reality.
Brancusi's work was largely fueled by myths, folklore, and "primitive" cultures. These traditional, old-world sources of inspiration formed a unique contrast to the often sleek appearance of his works, resulting in a distinctive blend of modernity and timelessness.
The materials Brancusi used - primarily marble, stone, bronze, wood, and metal - guided the specific forms he produced. He paid close attention to his mediums, meticulously polishing pieces for days to achieve a gleam that suggested infinite continuity into the surrounding space - "as though they proceeded out from the mass into some perfect and complete existence."

Biography

Constantin Brâncuși Photo

Childhood

The second of four children, Brâncuși was born in the small farming village of Hobitza, Romania, in 1876. He had a difficult childhood, in part due to challenging relationships with his father, a property manager of a monastery, and the children from his previous marriage. After several attempts to leave home, Brâncuși finally did so permanently in 1887, at the age of eleven.

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Constantin Brâncuși Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Constantin Brâncuși
Interactive chart with Constantin Brâncuși's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Marcel DuchampMarcel Duchamp
Paul GauguinPaul Gauguin
Fernand LégerFernand Léger
Auguste RodinAuguste Rodin

Personal Contacts

Alfred StieglitzAlfred Stieglitz
Edward SteichenEdward Steichen
Henri RousseauHenri Rousseau

Movements

DadaDada
African ArtAfrican Art
Asian ArtAsian Art

Influences on Artist
Constantin Brâncuși
Constantin Brâncuși
Years Worked: 1907 - 1957
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Isamu NoguchiIsamu Noguchi
Richard SerraRichard Serra
Robert MorrisRobert Morris
Donald JuddDonald Judd

Personal Contacts

Ezra PoundEzra Pound
Amedeo ModiglianiAmedeo Modigliani

Movements

Art DecoArt Deco
MinimalismMinimalism

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Content compiled and written by Rachel Gershman

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Rachel Gershman
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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