Constantin Brancusi, Artist and Sculptor

Self-portrait of Constantin Brancusi, taken in the studio in 1933-34.

Wow, this is why I love writing on this website, it’s an amazing tool for us to research individuals that we admire and that fascinate us. Today I’ve taken the jump and have decided to talk about an amazing artist that goes by the name of Constantin Brancusi. I was led to his work by the one and only Isamu Noguchi who was an assistant to Constantin in Paris, Constantin taught him how to carve stone and wood, just by looking at Isamu’s works you can tell he was highly influenced by Brancusi. I think why I was drawn to Constantin’s sculpture visually is because of it’s handmade quirky character, and also I guess it helps that he was a central figure in the modern movement and a pioneer of abstraction.

The Romanian sculptor was educated at the Bucharest School of Fine Arts and was infatuated with Auguste Rodin, a French sculptor who was pushing the boundaries at the time. So Brancusi made his way to Paris in 1904 where he created his first major work, ‘The Kiss’, in 1908. From this point onwards his sculpture became more and more abstract, as you can imagine he rose to popularity and made many pieces but his favourite surrounding was always his studio. It’s a place where he could devote great attention to the arrangement of the sculptures, documenting individual works and their installation in an important body of photographs, a few of which you can see in this article today. I decided to pick out a selection of photos which I thought represented him and his works well, firstly a few pictures from inside his studio, including a wonderful self portrait up top thanks to the Centre Pompidou. After that is a collection of works documented at the Guggenheim Museum, in total I picked up seven pieces, some made out of bronze, others stone, and my favourite which is wood. Wood has an interesting appeal about it, I like how it’s very natural and that it’s incredibly hard to work with. To create free flowing sculptures like Isamu, J.B. Blunk, or Brancusi it takes an intense amount of skill and dedication to the craft.

Well I hope this short article gave you a nice introduction into this fantastic artist, his works are extremely special and the photographs we’ve uncovered of him in his studio really add to the fascination in my opinion. I love getting intertwined in the everyday lives of creatives, it inspires me to get out there myself and create things that are different and innovative. If you’re interested in seeing some of Constantin Brancusi’s works up close and personal I’d recommend heading to the Musée national d’art moderne in France, this is where they’ve recreated Constantin’s studio and where they host a collection of his pieces.

www.brancusi.com www.centrepompidou.fr

Interior of the 1979 studio reconstruction at the Musée national d’art moderne (Mnam).
Photograph by Robert Doisneau after Brancusi’s death showing the original studio.