Brancusi and His World

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Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008 - Art - 178 pages
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This collection of essays is based on 35 years of Edith Balasas scholarship of Constantin Brancusi, the twentieth centuryas most influential sculptor. In her 1987 book, Brancusi and Romanian Folk Traditions, Balas convincingly demonstrated that Brancusias sculpture is rooted in his Romanian peasant origins, his artisan training and the folklore familiar to him. The present collection now explores how this giant of the twentieth century also related to his Parisian environment. Brancusias artistic evolution followed a tortuous path. Trained in his youth as an artisan he became a sophisticated artist of international renown. When along with others of his generation he rejected academic conventions, he evolved his artisan heritage into the modern sculptural language for which he is known today. In this collection of essays Balas shows that in doing so Brancusi is a product of his Parisian environment, and that his modernism grows from the interface of his Romanian origins with the art of the Parisian avant-garde. Without sacrificing his notorious independence, Brancusi was well informed about every contemporary artistic trend in Paris.Edith Balas shows not only how Brancusi became a pioneer of modern sculpture and one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century but also why his legacy continues into the twenty-first century.

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Contents

Folk Art and Early Modernism in Paris
1
The Sculpture of Brancusi in the Light of His Romanian Heritage
11
The Myth of African Art in Brancusis Sculpture
39
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About the author (2008)

Edith Balas has been Professor of Art History at Carnegie Mellon University for the past thirty years. She is also Research Associate at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to many articles in American and European journals, her publications include Brancusi and Romanian Folk Traditions, Michelangelo's Medici Chapel: A New Interpretation, Joseph Csaky: A Pioneer of Modern Sculpture, The Holocaust in the Painting of Valentin Lustig, The Mother Goddess in Italian Renaissance Art, The Early Work of Henry Koerner, and Michelangelo's Double Self-Portrait.

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