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Constantin Brancusi

On the Wings of Brancusi


Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), the most important sculptor of the first half of the 20th century, has been a fascinating and enduring influence on a generation of contemporary American artists.


Summary

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), the most important sculptor of the first half of the 20th century, has been a fascinating and enduring influence on a generation of contemporary American artists.

In 1995, Anne d’Harnoncourt, Director Emeritus of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, asked Checkerboard to document the PMA’s acclaimed retrospective on Brancusi for the Museum’s archive. This footage will be integral to our one-hour film.

Insights into Brancusi’s legacy will be provided by a select group of American artists, including Richard Serra and Ellsworth Kelly (filmed by Checkerboard in 2006 in the recreated Brancusi studio at the Centre Pompidou).

As Anne d’Harnoncourt remarked in our interview, “their work, each in a very different way, acknowledges some very important things about Brancusi and makes us now look at Brancusi’s work very differently”.

The film will feature commentary by the show’s co-curator, Ann Temkin (PMA’s Curator of 20th-Century Art, now Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA). We will also incorporate 1926 footage of Brancusi carving the base for a Bird in Space sculpture; a 1996 interview with Elizabeth Meyer Lorentz, who provided a first-hand account of the artist; and the 2001 restoration of the Endless Column in Targu Jiu, Romania, by the World Monuments Fund.

Checkerboard Film Foundation is a non-profit documentary film production company founded in 1979.

We document living artists who have made important contributions to the American arts. Our mission is educational and archival.


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