Constantin Brâncuși


Constantin Brancusi was born on February 19, 1876, in Hobitza, Romania. He studied art at the Scoala de Meserii (School of Arts and Crafts) in Craiova from 1894 to 1898 and at the Scoala Nazionale de Arte Frumoase (National School of Fine Arts) in Bucharest from 1898 to 1902. 

This French artist of Romanian birth, Constantin Brancusi is best known for his influential abstract sculptures. He is increasingly regarded as an artist whose integrated approach to sculpture and photography preceded that of many contemporary practitioners.

By following his own ideas through to their conclusions, Brancusi naturalistic carvings were some of the earliest examples of the biomorphic style embraced by artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Isamu Noguchi. His mixture of Modernism, myth, and primitivism was a predecessor of neo-primitive movements like Lyrical Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism.

Brancusi’s active engagement with photography was sparked in 1921 when he met Man Ray, who had just arrived in Paris from New York. As the American artist was establishing his own studio, he also helped Brancusi to buy equipment, install a darkroom in his workshop, and refine his photographic techniques. Brancusi took photographs of his studio and his sculptures, not simply as documentary records of the work, but rather as a way to interact with his sculptures as they, in turn, interacted with light and their surrounding environment.