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Constantin Brancusi : shifting the bases of art

Author: Anna Chave
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, ©1993.
Series: Yale publications in the history of art.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Constantin Brancusi - the most influential sculptor of the twentieth century - is usually viewed as a sculptor of pure, perfect, essential forms and as a lone visionary and exotic peasant-sage, aloof from both the social concerns of his age and from avant-garde affiliations.
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Constantin Brancusi; Constantin Brancusi; Constantin Brancusi; Constantin Brancusi; Constantin Brancusi
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Anna Chave
ISBN: 0300055269 9780300055269
OCLC Number: 27812571
Description: xiv, 335 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm.
Contents: About Brancusi --
1. Figuration and Disfiguration: The Vanishing Muse --
2. The Reflected and Reflective Gaze: For the Love of Narcissus --
3. Princess X/Prince's Sex: Repositioning Gender --
4. Fables of Creation: The Cosmogonic Egg --
5. Difference, Displacement, and the Ethnographic Attitude --
6. The Object on Trial: The Bird and the Base in Space --
7. Public and Private Spaces: Monuments, Temples, and the Studio.
Series Title: Yale publications in the history of art.
Responsibility: Anna C. Chave.

Abstract:

Constantin Brancusi - the most influential sculptor of the twentieth century - is usually viewed as a sculptor of pure, perfect, essential forms and as a lone visionary and exotic peasant-sage, aloof from both the social concerns of his age and from avant-garde affiliations.

In this fascinating book, Anna C. Chave explodes many of the myths about Brancusi, offering a revised view of the sculptor as an artist creatively responding to avant-garde and social concerns of his day. Using both feminist and social-historical lenses to view Brancusi's art, she explores the complex ways in which his works undermine established cultural hierarchies, challenge the fixed nature of sexual identity, and renounce notions of mastery and authority.

She discusses, most specifically, how the imperiled status of the subject in an alienated, technological age is addressed by Brancusi's fragmented figures and by the displacement of the masculine by the feminine subject in his production; how the inward-looking, modern subject is invoked by Brancusi's polished, mirroring sculptures, which invite narcissistic reflection; how the changing status of the handmade object in the age of mass production is suggested by Brancusi's use of repetition; how the perceived erosion of gender boundaries in the modern age is treated in numerous sculptures involving scrambled sexual signs; and how the search for new means of transcendence and liberation is evinced in the reinvigorated image of sexual love and spiritual striving glimpsed in certain of Brancusi's most important works.

By examining these achievements and his reimagining of the concept of the base - which he generally poised in a dialogic and shifting relation to his sculpture - Chave shows how Brancusi shifted the foundations of art.

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