romanian sculpture

Constantin Brancusi’s objects

Constantin Brancusi was a Romanian sculptor, often regarded as the inventor of modern abstract sculpture. He walked all the way to Paris from Romania in 1904. He enrolled to Ecole des Beaux Arts and found a position at Auguste Rodin’s workshop : he quit only two months after, declaring “Nothing can grow under big trees.” and deciding to follow his own path. 

He moved in Impasse Ronsin near Montparnasse and developed there the revolutionary style for which he is known with, sculpting his materials (wood, bronze, marble and stone) by direct carving, rather than working with intermediaries such as plaster or clay models. His visionary and deceptively simple sculptures exemplify non-literal, ideal and archetypal representations of their subject matter. Brancusi also began crafting the bases for his sculptures with much care and originality because he considered them important to the works themselves. 

His studio was reminiscent of the houses of the peasants from his native region: there was a big slab of rock as a table and the rest of the furniture was made by him out of wood. He built his own phonograph, and made most of his objects, vases, utencils, plates, even a dish drainer in wood. His worldview valued “differentiating the essential from the ephemeral” - but he was also known as a merrymaker loving tobacco, good wine, and the company of women.

“Simion Stoilow” Institute of Mathematics,
Exterior mural sculpture (detail)
Romanian Academy,
Bucharest, Romania,
built between 1967-68