This week (on the 19th of February) we celebrated in Romania exactly 140 years since the birth of the great Constantin Brancusi. Internationally recognized for his remarkable sculptures, with clear and simple geometric lines, perfectly balanced with the materials from which he shaped them, and in which he always managed to insert symbols, hints and beautiful metaphors, Brancusi is considered in all fairness one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century. Furthermore, he was a genuine pioneer of modernism and thus the patriarch of modern sculpture.
Although he was born in Romania (in Hobita village, in Gorj County, near the town of Targu Jiu), the talent that he showed from early on took him all the way to France since he was only 17 and that is the place where he lived and created for most of his life. But his first years here, a time when he got noticed for his wood carving skills, were enough to reveal and shape his abilities, and to offer him a solid base for the future complete artist that he would become in time.
Luckily, we also have in Romania some of his masterpieces and there are three structures that can be seen and touched at any time, at the Monumental Ensemble in Targu Jiu: Coloana Infinitului, Poarta Sarutului and Masa Tacerii, an ensemble created as an omage for the heroes fallen in World War I. And you might not be surprised if we’ll look a little bit closer at the latter (The Table of Silence)…
Masa Tacerii is a sculpture shaped from stone (Bampotoc stone) and it is said it was inspired by a stone table from Stefan cel Mare’s time. Thus, the round table, along with the 12 chairs shaped as hourglasses and positioned as a circle around it, is about the meal before the battle in which the heroes were about to engage. It also captures the symbol of time, the 12 Apostles and especially the idea of communion and meditation (hence the name of a table of silence).
So we could say that yesterday was the 140th birthday of Constantin Brancusi, because his life goes on through his work… Happy Birthday!