To what extent did primitive art inspire Brancusi

Expressionism is a much less important current in sculpture than in painting, since the ethnographic sculpture by the Fauves might have evoked a strong response among sculptors Only one important sculptor shared in this rediscovery Brancusi, a Rumanian, moved to Paris to study advanced art around 1904 But he was more interested in the formal simplicity and coherence of primitive carvings than in their savage expressiveness; this is evidenced in The Kiss which was executed in 1909 Brancusi had a ‘genius of ommission’ – to Brancusi a monument is an upright slab, symmetrical and immobile – a permanent marker like the styles of the ancients and he disturbed the basic shape as little as possible The Embracing Lovers are more primeval than primitive They are a timeless symbol of generations – innocent and anonoymous Brancusi’s ‘primevalism’ was the starting point of a sculptural tradition that still continues today Until now, African pottery, wooden carvings, and textiles had been viewed essentially as handicraft because, it was argued, the religious, military, sexual, or decorative functions of the works suggested that they had not been created as art, to be appreciated for their own sake It was the magical and mystical quality of the “Primitive” African art that inspired Brancusi; and the quality that counted most Because the appreciation of art in African sub-cultures is closely related to its use in everyday life, there is a distinct contrast with the Western concern with conservation/preservation and appreciation of art within a home, museum, or gallery setting This is one of the primary reasons that many objects of African art have been placed within the categories of artifacts, handicrafts, folk art, or primitive art In addition, it is essential to understand African art as it is appreciated, conceived, executed, and used within the African culture from which it originated In this respect, the artist has bee…

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