“They are all imbeciles those that say about my work that it is abstract; what they call abstract is the purest realism, because reality is not represented by exterior form, but by the idea behind it, by the essence of things.” –Constantin Brancusi
This week we celebrate a genius of shapes, a father of creations born by the mind and soul, we celebrate Constantin Brancusi and his works of art.
Brancusi is considered one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century as he is seen as the liberator of art, striping sculpture of all its secondary elements that were suffocating it, and presenting reality at its essence.
Being a devoted Christian orthodox, his art was inspired by the divine and by the simple life of the Romanian country side. His works of art are scattered all over the world in great museums in France, USA, Holland, England, but the most dear of his works are here in Romania, in Targu Jiu. He spends half of his life in Paris where he lives mostly in his workshop creating everyday a legacy for Romania, his home. But his home is denying him and his work, as he was considered the image of the decadent bourgeoisie, this being against the communist views.
Before leaving the country for what it would turn out to be forever, he gives a parting gift to his home land, a sculpture complex dedicated to the heroes that died in WWI fighting the Germans, represented by “Masa Tacerii”, “Coloana Infinitului”, “Poarta Sarutului”. (aprox. translation: “The table of silence”, “The column of infinity”, The kissing gate” ). This monuments are a representation of his deep and immortal love for his country and his people, the material used for the monuments being stone or bronze, hard materials that will last and give its work finesse and immortality.
All of his artistic works were an inspiration of his simple way of life and the love for God. He used smooth lines and perfectly polished edges to give the image of divine perfection: “I wanted to raise everything far above the earth. I made the stone sing for Humanity. My sculptures are even for the blind. What I give you as a gift is pure bliss.”
Bird in Space | Brancusi studio, Paris | Mademoiselle Pogany
At the end of his life he is basically alone. Sick and frail he is nursed by two Romanian refugees that stand by his side till the very end. Near his last moments he asks for his bed to be moved in his workshop, asks for a last confession and blessing and admits that he parts with this world with a broken heart, because he is not welcomed back in the country and the communist regime refuses to accept his legacy (all of his remaining art works and tools).
“It’s been long since I’ve been of this world. I am far away from myself, detached from my own body …I find myself among all things that are essential. I find myself now close to the Blessed Lord and I need only to reach up a hand to Him, to feel Him. I shall wait for the Blessed God in my workshop.” This are the final words of the man that left the world a most precious gift of love and art, a gift that survived and will linger for generations to come.