Finding Solace/Constantin Brancusi
We’re committing ourselves to inspiration. As creatives, we find solace in our work; we must come together in reassurance that this solace is indelible. At times of fear, we're grounded by our creative touchstones, and for this we’re committing ourselves to gratitude as well. While the world is heavy with a grief of the sort that feels deep and immovable, we hope to be a source of pause for the beauty that persists in the face of it all. Over these next several weeks, as we settle into new routines at home, we’ll be highlighting artists who have sought comfort in their creative environments. We’re inspired by these artists throughout history – and now – who have retreated to their homes, to their studios, to be immersed in the solace of their work.
We’re inspired, we’re grateful, and we’ll get through this together.
This week’s focus is on Constantin Brancusi, and the world he created at Impasse Ronsin, a series of studios in an alleyway in Paris' 15th arrondissement. Although he was first to move there in 1917, the Impasse Ronsin became a creative incubator where Brancusi lived and worked amongst many colleagues and apprentices (as in the likes of Yves Klein and Isamu Noguchi, respectively) until his death in 1957.
Though incredibly seminal artists occupied the other studio spaces over his tenure there (a very casual list including Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Les Lalanne..), Brancusi’s studio was at the physical heart of it all. He knocked down walls and opened up ceilings to create spaces in which he would display his work. As a sculptor, he was keenly aware of the relationships his three-dimensional works had with their immediate environment. For this very reason, his studios and galleries became works of art in their own right. The pieces were placed in space just so, one could easily presume with the intention to catch light at certain times of day, or to interact within a specific palette of colour and texture. The volumes together formed miniature skylines, which undoubtedly evolved both out of necessity and with great care.
Pictured here are photos of Brancusi and his studio throughout the years he lived and worked in the space. There are also really beautiful depictions of the studio he rendered in paint and charcoal. Lastly, you’ll find images of the studio as it was commissioned to be recreated for the Centre Pompidou. The architect for that project, completed in 1997 was Renzo Piano.