In twentieth-century sculpture, one name towers above all others: Romanian-born Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957). This book is profusely illustrated throughout with photographs by the artist and images culled from a wide range of archival sources. The three major essays discuss such diverse issues as the sculptor's sources of inspiration, his formal approach, and the works' original presentation. Friedrich Teja Bach rejects the notion of Brancusi's oeuvre as hermetic, timeless, and pure, examining instead the heterogeneous combinations of form and material that make it compellingly paradoxical. Margit Rowell explores Brancusi's place in the artistic climate of Paris in the 1910s and 1920s and his use of non-Western sources. Ann Temkin traces the history of his American patronage during his lifetime by such collectors as John Quinn, Katherine Dreier, James Sweeney, and Louise and Walter Arensberg.
The plate section features full-color reproductions of more than 100 sculptures, with accompanying texts and visual references. Fifty-five photographs by Brancusi appear in full-page duotone, and the book also includes more than forty color and black and white reproductions of his drawings.