Constantin Brancusi / Male Torso / 1917Constantin Brancusi
Male Torso

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Creator Name: Brancusi, Constantin
Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Romanian
Creator Role: Sculptor
Creator Dates/Places: 1876 - 1957
Biography: Constantin Brancusi Romanian, 1876-1957Constantin Brancusi was one of the outstanding sculptors of the 20th century. The Romanian-born artist also was actively engaged in making photographs of his sculpture throughout much of his career, creating images that fall into two main categories: views of his studio and pictures of single works. Following studies at the School of Arts and Crafts in Craivoa, the National School of Fine Arts in Bucharest, and the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Brancusi began exhibiting his sculpture in Paris in 1906. It is not known when he first began to photograph his pieces. However, by 1921 he was interested in improving his photographic skills and asked Man Ray for technical advice, as well as for suggestions for buying equipment and setting up a darkroom. Brancusi used photography not only to document his sculpture, but also to promote it. He would make sets of photographs showing front, back, and side views of a piece that could be sent to prospective buyers outside Paris. Although Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen, among others, also photographed his sculpture, Brancusi felt that only he could produce images that did justice to his work. Making his own photographs also allowed him to present his sculpture as he wanted it to be seen. Well aware of the influence of light, Brancusi often experimented with lighting effects to emphasize the dynamic qualities of a piece. When he died in 1957, more than 550 negatives and 1,000 prints were found in his studio. In addition to a Brancusi photograph, the Cleveland Museum of Art's collection includes one of his sculptures. M.M.
Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Hobita, Romania 2/21/1876
Creator Death Place: Paris, France 3/16/1957
Creator Name-CRT: Constantin Brancusi
Title: Male Torso
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1917
Creation End Date: 1917
Creation Date: 1917
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Brass
Dimensions: without base: 46.7cm x 30.5cm x 16.85cm
Inscriptions: signed on bottom: C. Brancusi, Paris, 1917.
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 3205.1937
Credit Line: Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection
Copyright: ? Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Context: Hoping to reveal the "true sense of things," Constanin Brancusi asked the question what could sculpture do without? Male Torso is one of a series of torsos he produced between 1909 and the 1920's. Although greatly simplified, it is still recoginzable as a human figure. The smooth and highly polished surface is fundamental to Brancusi's goal of unifying the body's component parts into a continuous single surface.
AMICA ID: CMA_.3205.1937
AMICA Library Year: 2001
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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