Constantin Brâncuși. Bird in Space. c. 1941

Constantin Brâncuși Bird in Space c. 1941

  • Not on view

Refining and concentrating the bird form, Brancusi made his first Bird in Space in 1923, in marble. Later versions were made in bronze and plaster. Brancusi began each work by making a plaster cast from a marble version of the sculpture. He would shape the plaster, altering its proportions, and then cast the result in bronze. Each Bird is therefore unique. “I never make reproductions,” Brancusi explained; each sculpture is “a separate work made years apart. . . . If I change one dimension an inch all the other proportions have to be changed, and it is the devil’s job to do it.”

Gallery label from 2019
Additional text

In 1923, Brancusi refined the figure of the bird to its most concentrated form. The first Bird in Space was made from marble; bronze and plaster versions followed in the years and decades to come. Of the nine existing bronze versions of Bird in Space, no two are identical. In order to make each sculpture, Brancusi began by creating a plaster cast based on a marble version of the sculpture, manipulating the plaster to alter its proportions, and then casting the result in bronze. This ensured the uniqueness of each Bird in Space. “I never make reproductions,” Brancusi explained. Each sculpture is “a separate work made years apart. . . . And with this ‘bird in flight’ if I change one dimension an inch all the other proportions have to be changed, and it is the devil’s job to do it.”

Gallery label from Constantin Brancusi Sculpture, 2018
Medium
Bronze 6' (182.9 cm) high, on two-part stone pedestal 17 3/8" (44.1 cm) high
Credit
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A. M. Burden
Object number
497.1964
Copyright
© Succession Brancusi - All rights reserved (ARS) 2018
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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