Constantin Brancusi


After studies at the Academy of the Arts in Bucharest Constantin Brancusi (Romanian, 1876–1957) attended Antonin Mercié’s sculpture class at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He became friends with Fernand Léger and Amadeo Modigliani. In 1914 he had his first solo show of sculpture at Alfred Stieglitz’s photo-secessionist Gallery 291 in New York. Unsatisfied with the way professional photographers presented his sculptures, he began to photograph the works himself. In 1921 he met Man Ray, who gave him technical advice and helped him obtain better equipment and a darkroom. After 1938, Brancusi continued to work in Paris. His last sculpture, a plaster Grand Coq, was completed in 1949. In the years following, he continued to adjust and refine sculptural groupings in his studio, a project that epitomized his interest in creating dynamic dialogues among various works and the spaces they inhabit. In 1955, the first retrospective of Brancusi’s work was held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.