Brancusi' Heritage

Topics: Constantin Brâncuşi, Sculpture, Târgu Jiu Pages: 2 (716 words) Published: April 21, 2013
The Rumania-born sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) was a central figure of the modern art movement and a pioneer of abstraction. His sculptures are noted for their visual elegance, simplification of form, and consummate craftsmanship, combining the rusticity of peasant carving with the sophistication of the Parisian avant-garde. While most critics have identified African art as a source of inspiration behind his organic sculptures, it was in fact Brancusi’s ancestral origins that provided the fundamental basis for his work. The critical reception of Brancusi's art has been shaped by the perception of his Rumanian heritage. He arrived in Paris in 1904 at the age of twenty-eight, when the avant-garde’s search for a new source of inspiration produced a renewed interest in “unadorned trivial objects as a subject matter of artistic preoccupation” (Balas). While other artists of the Parisian avant-garde submitted to the influence of African Negro masks and primitive arts, Brancusi found himself on an even footing with them, having been a Rumanian peasant and a real ‘primitive.’ It’s important to note that, instead of directly utilizing elements of African art in his work as did his contemporaries, Brancusi found in it a trigger which facilitated the emergence of the reminiscences of his Romanian folk heritage that would serve for him as the formal and iconographical inspirations underlying his sculptures. In order to differentiate his work from those of his contemporaries, Brancusi reverted back to the ancestral traditions of his homeland and imbued its folk elements with a new context. His sculptures represented a deviation from representational art with an ultimate aim to capture the essence of nature by reducing it to core forms of abstract simplicity. Indeed, there are many examples that serve to demonstrate the strong formal similarities between Brancusi’s sculptures and the artifacts of Rumanian folk art. One of such works that has been distinguished as...
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