Constantin Brancusi

/Works and biography


Bird in Space (L'Oiseau dans l'Espace), 1932–40
Polished brass, 151.7 cm high, including base
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553 PG 51
© Constantin Brancusi, by SIAE 2008


The development of the bird theme in Constantin Brancusi’s oeuvre can be traced from its appearance in the Maiastra sculptures, through the Golden Bird group, and, finally, to the Bird in Space series. Sixteen examples of the Bird in Space sequence, dating from 1923 to 1940, have been identified. The streamlined form of the present Bird in Space, stripped of individualizing features, communicates the notion of flight itself rather than describing the appearance of a particular bird. This sculpture could have been cast as early as 1932 and finished in1940. The support of the present example is incorporated as an organically irregular stem, providing an earthbound anchor for the sleek, soaring form. As was customary in Brancusi’s work, the brass is smoothed and polished to the point where the materiality of the sculpture is dissolved in its reflective luminosity.

credits: Hangar Design Group