He was influenced by Rodin, but in 1907 he was commissioned to create a funeral monument for a rich landowner. The result was The Prayer, a work which marked the beginning of his process of drastically simplifying his figures almost to the point of abstraction.
He was an avid wood carver, often executing his works in wood before using marble or bronze. Many of his wood carvings reflect his interest in African art and Romanian folk art.
In 1913, his works at the Armory Show in New York attracted international attention, resulting in the creation of loyal collectors around the globe, even though critics worldwide attacked his work as too radical.
In 1920, his sculpture entitled Princess X created a scandal. The police forced him to remove the work from the gallery, because they contended it led to phallic interpretation. In 1926, his Bird in Flight was confiscated by U. S. Customs on the way to a showing at the Brummer Gallery in New York. It was so abstract that officials did not believe it was art. He was accused of attempting to introduce an industrial part clandestinely into the United States. He sued U. S. Customs and won a two-year court battle in 1928.
Brancusi died in Paris in 1957. He bequeathed his studio and its contents to the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris. His influence can clearly be seen in the works of mid-century pieces such as the forms in Eva Zeisel's Town and Country collection, the shapes of Architectural Pottery.
From tate.org.uk and wonderful-romania.com
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