Eight works by Constantin Brancusi will be showcased for one year at the Guggenheim New York Museum, with the local branch of the Romanian Culture Institute (ICR), ICR New York, lending its support for the event, according to an IRC NY press statement released on Thursday.
For almost one year, March 17, 2017 — January 3, 2018 the prestigious American museum, the building of which was designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in 1959, will redesign the outlay of the permanent Brancusi exhibition to include works currently inaccessible to the public.
The new installation will present eight of Brancusi's groundbreaking wood and stone sculptures: The Sorceress / La sorcičre (1916-24); King of Kings / Le roi des rois (ca. 1938); Muse / La muse (1912); Adam and Eve / Adam et Eve (1921); The Miracle (Seal [I]) / Le Miracle (1930-32); Flying Turtle (1940-45); Watchdog / Chien de garde (1916), and Oak base (1920).
The exhibition also includes a number of photographs of Brancusi's studio in Paris and works in situ, taken by Man Ray, Edward Steichen, Wayne F. Miller, and the artist himself.
"In the early decades of the twentieth century, Brancusi produced an innovative body of work that altered the trajectory of modern sculpture. During this period, Brancusi lived and worked in Paris, then a thriving artistic center where many modernist tenets were being developed and debated. He became an integral part of these conversations both through his relationships with other artists, such as Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Leger, Amedeo Modigliani, and Henri Rousseau, and through his own pioneering work. His aspiration to express the essence of his subjects through simplified forms and his engagement with non-Western European artistic traditions led to new stylistic approaches. In addition, his mode of presentation, which equally emphasized sculpture and base and in which works were shown in direct relation to one another, instead of as independent entities, introduced new ways of thinking about the nature of the art object," the statement says.
According to ICR NY, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum began collecting Brancusi's work in-depth in the mid-1950s under the leadership of its second director, James Johnson Sweeney. When Sweeney began his tenure at the museum, the collection was focused on non-objective painting. Sweeney significantly expanded the scope of the institution's holdings, bringing in other styles and mediums, particularly sculpture.
"The Guggenheim's commitment to Brancusi during these years extended beyond its collecting priorities, and in 1955 the museum held the first major exhibition of the artist's work," according to the same statement.
The project is also part of the ICR New York celebratory events in 2017 to mark the 141st birth and 60th death anniversaries of sculptor Brancusi, which is seen as a major plank in the ICR multiannual plan for 2016-2019 and of the public and cultural diplomacy agenda of the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE.
"This major exhibition paves the way for long-term institutional cooperation between the Romanian Culture Institute, via its local branch in New York, and the Guggenheim Museum. Moreover, this is a unique opportunity, given that such special presentations devoted by famous museums to one artist occur quite infrequently, some years and even decades apart," ICR says in a press statement.
The Guggenheim Museum website is visited by nearly 6,000,000 visitors a year, while the actual museum has reported more than one million visitors a year, which gives a monthly average of 80,000.