Sculptor Constantin Brancusi (Romanian, born February 19, 1876–died March 6, 1957) is best known for the uniquely reductive, Modernist visual vocabulary he used in sculptures to depict a wide variety of subjects, such as fish, birds, and couples kissing. Born in Hobitza, Romania, Brancusi studied art in his native country as a youth, before leaving for Paris in 1904 to continue his education at the École des Beaux-Arts. There he was invited to work with famed sculptor Auguste Rodin, but declined the offer and decided to work on his own, preferring to use the most reduced forms possible in his sculptures, as opposed to the overtly worked exteriors of Rodin’s pieces.

In both marble and wood, Brancusi devoted himself to depicting the essence of his subjects through only the most fundamental forms, using ovoid and elliptical shapes to evoke movement, repose, and spiritual qualities. During his mature career, Brancusi befriended several of the leading avant-garde artists living in Paris at the time, and began to exhibit his work in Paris, Bucharest, and New York—most famously in the controversial 1913 Armory Show at artist and dealer Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery, 291. In addition to working with marble, Brancusi created several works in wood, which often took the form of specific personages, unlike his marble works. Later in life, he traveled throughout Europe, India, and Asia before returning to Paris, where he continued to work until his death in 1957.

Brancusi’s work is in the collections of major institutions around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Museum of Chicago, the Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio di Janeiro.


Born February 19 in Hobitza, Romania
Studied art at the Scoala de Meserii in Craiova
Attended the Scoala Natzionala de Art Frumoase in Bucharest
Enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France
Five of Brancusi’s sculptures included in the Armory Show in New York
Represented by Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery “291” in New York
Exhibited solo shows in Wildenstein and the Brummer Gallery in New York
U.S. court determines “Bird in Space” a work of art and exempt from taxing by U.S. Customs
Commissioned by the maharajah Jaswant Rao Holkar II of Indore to build a Temple of Deliverance in the ground of his palace in India
Inauguration of the Tirgu-Jiu Complex in Romania – Brancusi’s only completed monumental complex
Died March 6 in Paris, France


Sept. 1 - Nov. 12, "Constantin Brancusi Photographer", National Museum of Art in Bucharest
Jan. 29 - May 23, "Constantin Brancusi, The Essence of Things", Tate Modern, London
June 11 - Sept. 19, "Constantin Bracnusi, The Essence of Things". Solomon R. Gugghenheim Museum
April 14 - Aug. 21, "Constantin Brancusi, 1876-1957", Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
March 12 - April 1, "Constantin Brancusi", Little Galleries of Photo-Secession, NY