On the piazza of the Center Pompidou, the Atelier Brancusi pays tribute to an essential artist in the history of modern sculpture.
An essential artist of modern sculpture
From 1916 until his death in 1957, Constantin Brancusi occupied several studios, successively at numbers 8 then 11 of Impasse Ronsin, in the 15th arrondissement of Paris. The artist invests two then three studios there, which he opens to form two vast rooms in which he exhibits his works. In 1936 and 1941, he added two other adjoining workspaces where his workbench and tools were located. Constantin Brancusi attaches great importance to the relationship of his sculptures with the space that contains them. From the 1910s, by arranging the sculptures in a close spatial relationship, he created new works in the studio which he called “mobile groups“, thus signifying the importance of the link between the works and the possibilities of mobility of each within the whole.
He no longer wished to exhibit
From the 1920s, the studio became the place where his work was presented and a work of art in its own right, a body made up of cells that generated each other. This experience of gazing inside the studio towards each of the sculptures to constitute a set of spatial relationships leads Constantin Brancusi to reorganize their place daily to achieve the unity that seems to him the fairest. At the end of his life, Constantin Brancusi no longer produced sculptures to focus solely on their relationship within the workshop. This proximity becomes so essential that the artist no longer wishes to exhibit and, when he sells a work, he replaces it with his plaster print so as not to lose the unity of the whole.
He bequeathed his studio to France
In 1956 Constantin Brancusi bequeathed everything contained in his studio (completed works, sketches, furniture, tools, library, nightclub, photographs, etc.) to the French State, on condition that the latter undertake to reconstitute it as it was. will appear at the death of the artist. After a first partial reconstruction in 1962 inside the collection of the National Museum of Modern Art then located at the Palais de Tokyo, this reconstruction was carried out in 1977, opposite the Center Pompidou. Following floods in 1990, it was closed to the public.
A reconstruction by Renzo Piano
The current reconstruction, built by the architect Renzo Piano in 1997, is presented as a museum space in which the workshop is inserted. If the architect did not try to reproduce, in a public place, the intimacy of the impasse Ronsin, he knew how to preserve the idea of a protected place, a very interior space, in which to infuses zenithal light, and where the spectator is protected from the bustle of the street and the Piazza, in particular by an enclosed garden. With more than a hundred sculptures, around forty drawings and two paintings, the Brancusi studio in the Piazza plunges the viewer into the heart of the artist’s universe!
Free access, every day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesday and May 1. Brancusi Workshop, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris