2 Enduring Understanding Students will understand that… how abstract art brought about new energies and dimensions in artistic creation.
3 Overarching 1) How has abstraction affected our way of viewing art? 2) What can abstraction achieve that realistic art cannot? Topical 1) What is the essence of life? 2) How does one express the essence of life? Essential Questions
4 5W1H Constantine Brâncusi When Where Romania Paris Which Abstraction What Essence vs. Form Why Theosophy Cosmology How Sculptures
5 Bio-Data 1976:Born in Hobia, Romania. 1884:Entered School of Arts and Crafts in Craiova. 1903:Went to Paris. 1907:Spent one month as an apprentice to Rodin. 1909:Saw Matisse and Apollinaires works. Inspired by tribal masks and sculptures. 1910:First version of Maiastra. 1926:Bird in Space 1937:Went to India. 1952:Became a French citizen.
6 1905:The emergence of Fauvism. 1906:Retrospective exhibition of Gauguins work. 1914:World War I 1939:World War II started in Europe. 1947:The Communists took over and remained under the control of USSR. When ( )
7 Romania Romania declared neutrality during WW1 but was subsequently pressured to join the allies. Romania was drawn into the Axis Power (Germany, Italy and Japan), failing to stay neutral this time round. She changed sides later and joined The Allies. Where ( specific to place)
8 Paris The center of arts in Europe. Emergence of various art movements. Eg:- The Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and the Fauvists.
9 Which Abstraction Brancusi was the first of the modern sculptors. Image which departs from representational accuracy. The abstraction is carried out to a variable range of degrees. In the case of Brancusi, he selects and simplifies the form.
10 Subject Matter Folklore Theme Essence What
11 Background His apprenticeship to Auguste Rodin. Why The Kiss/Le Baiser by Auguste Rodin, Pentelican Marble, 18.2 x 12.1 x 15.3 cm Bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn The Kiss by Brancusi Wood, wax and metal
12 Why Background He was a complex and rather mysterious man. His interests ranged from Science to Music. He had an intense love for craftsmanship - a talented handyman who made his furniture and utensils. He grew up in a village well-known for its folk-crafts and ornate wood-carvings. His other influences- African and Oriental art.
13 Why Brancusi rejected Rodins 19th-century emphasis on theatricality and accumulation of detail in favour of radical simplification and abbreviation. He suppressed all decoration and explicit narrative referents in an effort to create pure and resonant forms. His goal was to capture the essence of his subjects, which included birds in flight, fish, penguins, and a kissing couple and render them visible with minimal formal means.
14 Philosophy To differentiate the essential from the ephemeral (the transience and short-living). His values taken from the writings of Plato (Greek), Lao Tze (Chinese) and Jetsun Milarepa (Tibetan). He was an idealist, almost ascetic in his approach to life. His workshop reeked with spiritual atmosphere. In contradiction, during the 1910s and 1920s, he turned to pleasure seeking and merry-making within his Bohemian circle. Why
15 Direct carving instead of casting. Carving- the sculptor works directly on the medium, eg: stone. Casting- the sculptor uses clay or plaster as a mould for the medium. From 1908 onwards, Brancusi worked primarily via carving, unlike his contemporaries who casted. He would simplify his forms into geometric or sparse objects. Providing bases for his sculptures is important. How
16 How The art of Brancusi encompassed the nature of materials in all its manifestations. He finished his bronzes and marbles to a degree of perfection rarely seen in the history of sculpture. At the same time, he placed these polished shapes on roughly carved stone pedestals, or on bases hacked out of tree trunks, in order to attain a mystical fusion of disembodied light-reflecting surfaces and solid, earthbound mass.
17 2 Styles: (1) Carved and modelled exquisitely refined forms: - Embodiments of absolute perfection. - Confront viewer with their physically - provocative and magnetic presences. - Meditative (2) A series of rough, tough sculptures: - Carved from old pieces of wood. - Influenced by African carvings. - Powerful & Dramatic
18 His Materials:- Brass Bronze Marble Metal Stone Wood How
19 The Prayer The Prayer, 1907 Bronze on wood This sculpture is his first step to abstraction.
20 The Kiss, 1908 Alvastone with Aged Stone Finish Philadelphia Museum of Art His Kisses…
21 His Kisses… The Kiss, 1912 Limestone, 58.4 x 33.7 x 25.4 cm Philadelphia Museum of Art Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
22 Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes Head of Sleeping Child, 1908 Pompidou, Paris His Ovoids…
23 Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes The Newborn, 1920 Bronze, 14.6 x 21 x 14.6 cm Museum of Modern Art, New York
24 Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes The Newborn, Marble, 8.5 x 6 inches Philadelphia Museum of Art.
25 His Muses… Sleeping Muse, 1910, Bronze Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
26 His Muses… Sleeping Muse, Hirschhorn Museum Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
27 His Muses… Muse (La Muse), White marble, 17 3/4 x 9 x 6 3/4 inches. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
28 Princess X, Polished bronze, limestone block 61.7 x 40.5 x 22.2 cm The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection This phallic sculpture caused a stir at the Salon (Société des Artistes Indépendants) and was removed from the exhibition in Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
29 Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (ii) Works in wood The Sorceress, Walnut on limestone base, 44 7/8 x 19 x 25 1/4 inches Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
30 Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (ii) Works in wood Adam and Eve, Adam and Eve executed separately ca Chestnut (Adam) and oak (Eve), on limestone base, 94 x 18 3/4 x 18 1/4 inches overall. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
31 Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (ii) Works in wood Socrates Oak (111 x 28.8 x 36.8 cm), on oak footing (18.8 x 24.6 x 27 cm), overall 130 cm high. Limestone cylinder, 30.2 cm high. Peggy Guggenheim Collection
32 Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (ii) Works in wood The Cock, Cherry, 121 x 46.3 x 14.6 cm, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
33 Bird Series… Maiastra, Polished brass, height 73.1 cm, including base. Guggenheim Museum, New York Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
34 Bird Series… Maiastra, White marble (55.9 cm) high, on three-part limestone pedestal (177.8 cm) high, of which the middle section is Double Caryatid, c.1908 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
35 What- Maiastra In Romanian folklore, the Maiastra is a beautiful bird, golden in colour. It has powers that can predict the future and cure the blind. His Bird in Space series are based on the Maiastra
36 Bird in Space, Marble, x 16.5 cm Bequest of Florene M.Schoenborn Bird Series.. Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
37 Bird Series… Bird in Space (LOiseau dans lespace), Polished brass, Height, including base: 151 cm Guggenheim Museum, New York Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
38 Beginning of the World, 1920 Marble, metal and stone, 76.2 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm. Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes
39 Years of maturity, c 1907–34 (i) Direct carvings and bronzes Fish, Blue-gray marble (53.3 x x 14 cm), on three-part pedestal of one marble (13 cm) high, and two limestone cylinders (33 cm) high and (27.9 cm) high x (81.5 cm) diameter at widest point.
40 Târgu Jiu Table of Silence, Limestone, table, 215cm in diameter Târgu Jiu, Romania
41 Târgu Jiu Gate of Kiss, Stone, 514 x 545 cm Târgu Jiu, Romania
42 Târgu Jiu Endless Column, Cast iron, 2933 cm. Târgu Jiu, Romania After restoration at 2000.
43 Târgu Jiu – Endless Column Detail of module showing disk removed for testing. Detail of restored module ready to be repositioned. Detail of surface damage.
44 Târgu Jiu – Endless Column This sculpture, based on the symbolism of the axis mundi, was made as a tribute to the young Romanians who died in World War I fighting Germany, and is a stylization of the funerary pillars used in Southern Romania. The Endless Column is meters high and composed of 17 rhombus-shaped modules made out of cast iron.
45 Târgu Jiu Târgu Jiu is the capital of Gorj County, Oltenia, Romania. Brancusis sculptures in Târgu Jiu constitutes of the Table of Silence, the Gate of Kiss and the Endless Column. This ensemble of works is a monument for WWI. It commemorates the courage of Romanian heroes who were sacrificed when fighting off German invasion in 1916.
46 River Jiu Table of Silence Gate of Kiss Endless Column Plan of the monumental ensemble at Târgu Jiu 1.60 metres metres
47 Târgu Jiu 1. The Table of Silence represents the table the Soldiers joined before facing the enemy. The Chairs represent the time disposed like those of sand glasses. 2. The Gate of Kiss is the gate to another life. The motifs on the columns represent the eyes. 3. The Endless Column is a monolithic spiritual testament to their heroism, like a stairway to heaven.