The Ascetic Beauty Of Brancusi

Hugh Eakin writes in the NYR: ‘This summer, two small New York shows—at the Museum of Modern Art and at the Guggenheim Museum—invite us to revisit Brancusi’s singular legacy. Both comprise objects from the museums’ own collections, and this is no accident. Though he spent almost all of his long career in Paris—working through two world wars he barely seems to have noticed—New York played an unusually large part in his story. According to the standard mythology, it was at the Armory Show in 1913 that Brancusi first exploded onto the international scene. His earliest and most important patron was a New Yorker. And by the final years of Brancusi’s life, top American museums were in intense competition for his work. “Without the Americans, I would not have been able to produce all this or even to have existed,” he said in 1955.’

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