Archives for category: Individual Pieces

Have any of you ever encountered Constantin Brâncuşi’s Romanian pieces of modern art? Two days ago while going about my daily rounds about the worldwide artweb, I saw this picture of a remarkably stunning minimalistic sculpture. Clad in a golden hue and oriented like a vertical spire, it was an attention-grabbing artwork I just had to blog about. In the early 1920’s, I believe the original first work, “Pasărea în văzduh” was created. That very same sculpture came up at auction last 2005 and demanded the high selling price of over twenty million dollars. Today his series of sculptures under the known name “Bird in Space” is well spread out across the globe. Australia’s National Gallery, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Italy) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are just some of the places that house his works of bronze and marble.

Bird in Space Modern Sculpture

What’s amazing about this series of works is how movement is visually captured in a static field of presence. Brâncuşi ‘s unique depiction of his subjects allowed for their artistic beauty to be derived from an alternate source rather than mere physical beauty or symmetry. He posed the notion of dynamic life in his body of works. To showcase this, he made people see a different side of the subjects, encompassing their existence as a visual purpose. Flight, movement, speed and distance can all be felt from one look at his majestic creations. Aside from being a colleague of the famous Marcel Duchamp (The Fountain), Brâncuşi was able to even change the outlook on fine art in the United states customs department when an late 1920’s issue regarding customs inhibited the dignity of his art pieces momentarily. A lot of people supported Brâncuşi  and he eventually won out the favor of society after an appeal. This was the very first non-representational abstract sculpture to be considered as a type of art by the government bodies involved.

Photography credited to Dennis Irrgang
Sculpture by Constantin Brâncuşi

Olivier Strebelle’s large and monumentally scaled sculptures have been a frequent sight for almost 60 years. His style has evolved from a previous set of organic and abstract forms to a more linear and slender type of modernism that plays with the movement of the eyes as they observe his work. Strebelle’s bronze artworks has made their way into countries like Germany, Israel, Italy, Singapore and America.

Olivier StrebelleOlivier Strebelle in his Sculpture Studio – Photography by Mark Moran

His more recent sculpture “Athletes’ Alley” has been placed on the area where the 2008 Beijing Olympics was held a few years back. This renown sculpture rose up to over sixty feet high and three hundred forty feet across. The artist made use of steel tubing and bended them into a continuous flow of contemporary shapes. From angled views, the shapes come together very nicely in an elegant assembly of sorts, but the real purpose can be seen when the piece is viewed from a specific place. It is then, that the viewer will be able to see five figures carrying the Olympic rings. The sculpture did not make it in time for the Olympic date exactly, but was a good gestural gift from Belgium to the city of Beijing. It cost about 5 million euros to create. To produce such a grand and monumental structure, a cooperative project had to be established between The Image Laboratory of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and the Tsinghua University in China. These two universities also had to seek the expertise of C&E Ingénierie; an engineer’s consultancy specializing in metal framework, and Sofistik; a German software company.

This sculpture is located right outside the National Air and Space Museum’s Jefferson Drive gateway. It’s a beautiful stainless steel sculpture that protrudes into the clear sky. Richard Lippold made this public artwork to stand at about a hundred feet tall. The gold-colored steel was shaped into three planes of protrusions angled creatively to disappear into a point at the 100 foot mark. There are also three multi-pronged objects at the same mark. The point seems to be penetrating this array of star-like symbols.

Ad Astra Sculpture
Sculpture by Richard Lippold Photography by Tony Lazaretti

This unique sculpture is well defined in its simple, but well-thought out composition. The artist had the purpose of making it convey the journey that man kind has undertaken. The sculpture is a symbol of our very own conquest into the previously unknown reaches of outer space. The title; Ad Astra is latin for the meaning “to the stars”. Richard Lippold was an esteemed artist and professor at several American universities, such as Hunter College at the New York City University