White Splendor

Although Constantin Brancusi, the Romanian Sculptor, left his native Romania at a very early age, it seems as if it never really left him. You can see traces of the traditional folk art of his beginnings in the graceful lines of his sculpture and in the beautiful simplicity of his carvings.

He moved to Paris in the early 1900’s, a city known for its decadence, wonderful restaurants and nightlife but Brancusi liked to shop in the morning and cook at home. He preferred to cook for his artist friends; he made steaks and also liked to make coeurs a’la crème for desert if the guest was a woman.

They sat around and ate and talked about all manor of art. After dinner Brancusi would play Romanian folk songs on his violin. He entertained an impressive list of artistic friends, among them were Pablo Picasso, Ezra Pound, Henri Pierre Roche, Guillaume Apollinaire, Man Ray, Henri Rousseau, Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Leger, Eugene Ionesco and Isamu Noguchi. He had a fondness for white, his studio had white walls and floors, his sculptures were white and with his long white beard, he looked as though he would be at home on stage next to Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. I find his sculptures peaceful to look at and find myself wishing I could wander through the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see them up close. I see his influence in the work of Jonathan Adler, another artist I also admire. Brancusi’s work has drawn record amounts at auction, with one of his sculptures, “Madame L.R.” selling for a record setting $37 million.

Pic #1: Brancusi in his Paris studio, 1927
Pic #2: “Sleeping Muse” ~Constantin Brancusi 1909-10
Pic #3: Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp & Mary Reynolds

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