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Constantin Brancusi

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Brncuşi in his studio (1932)
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Brncuşi in his studio (1932)
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Constantin Brancusi (February 19, 1876March 16, 1957), originally Constantin Brncuşi, was a Romanian sculptor, born in Hobiţa, Gorj, near Trgu Jiu, where he placed his sculptural ensemble with The Table of Silence, The Gate of the Kiss and The Endless Column.

Brancusi studied art at the Şcoala de Meserii (school of arts and crafts) in Craiova from 1894 to 1898 and at the Şcoala Naţională de Arte Frumoase (national school of fine arts) in Bucharest from 1898 to 1901. Willing to further his education in Paris, he arrived there in 1904 and enrolled in the cole des Beaux-Arts in 1905.

As an art student he was influenced by Auguste Rodin, but his style moved beyond naturalist representation to stylized elegant forms. Brancusi was one of the first sculptors to experiment with abstract art (although never, in his own view, moving into pure abstraction). His sculptures became progressively smoother and less figurative, until only the barest outline of the original subject was left, venturing even farther away from figurative sculpture than his countryman and contemporary Dimitriu Paciurea.

Brancusi produced a series of sculptures in metal called Bird in Space. Edward Steichen, a prominent photographer purchased one of these birds and tried to bring it into the United States. Under U.S. Customs code, works of art may be imported into the country duty-free. However, Customs officers did not accept the bird as a work of art and assessed a duty of $600 classifying it as a propeller blade. Subsequently a trial overturned the assessment.

Constantin Brancusi lived and worked from 1925 to 1957 in his workshop, located impasse Ronsin, in the 15me arrondissement of Paris. The original workshop has disappeared and has been rebuilt near the Centre Georges Pompidou.

In the Montparnasse Cemetery can be found statues carved by Brancusi for a few fellow artists who committed suicide, the best-known of of the sculptures is his Le Baiser.

Brancusi died on March 16, 1957 and was buried in the Cimetire du Montparnasse, Paris, France.

Legacy

His works are housed in the New York Museum of Modern Art and in the National Museum of Art of Romania (in Bucharest), as well as in other major museums around the world.

Brancusi's onetime studio in Paris is open to the public. It is very close to the Pompidou Centre, on the rue Rambuteau. He bequeathed part of his collection to the French state on condition that his workshop be rebuilt as it was on the day he died.

In 2004, a sculpture by Brancusi named Danaide sold for $18.1 million, the highest that a sculpture piece had ever sold for at auction. In May 2005, a piece from the Bird in Space series broke that record, selling for $27.5 million in a Christie's auction [1] (http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/05/news/newsmakers/brancusi.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes).

Quotations

The people who call my work 'abstract' are imbeciles; that which they call 'abstract' is the purest realism, whose reality is not represented by exterior form but by the idea behind it, the essence of the work.

Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave.

External links

Constantin Brancusi Virtual Encyclopedia - 2 multimedia CDs (http://www.tree.ro/en/portfolio/multimedia/constantin-brancusi-virtual-encyclopedia.html) from the Noesis Cultural Societyde:Constantin Brâncuşi es:Constantin Brancusi eo:Constantin BRÂNCUŞI fr:Constantin Brancusi it:Constantin Brancusi nl:Constantin Brancusi pl:Constantin Brâncuşi ro:Constantin Brâncuşi ru:Брынкуши, Константин sv:Constantin Brancusi

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