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BRANCUSI, Constantin

Hobitza, Romania 1876 - Paris 1957

Négresse blanche II

White Negress II

1928

white marble, black marble, stone, and wood

head

Dimensions (HxWxD): sculpture: 19 12 x 5 34 x 7 12; black marble base: 14 12 x 14 12 x 10; stone base: 21 x 20 x 16 12; wood base: 17 34 x 17 x 13 34 in.

signed: C. Brancusi 1928

Acc. No.: 1966.4

Credit Line: Grant J. Pick Collection, 1966.4

Photo credit: ph. Art Institute of Chicago


Provenance

  • by 1933?1965, New York and Paris, Helena Rubinstein (1870-1965), probably acquired directly from the artist [memo of July 28, 1966 in curatorial file and see Geist 1983]
  • 1965-1966, by descent to the Estate of Helena Rubinstein
  • 1966, April 20, New York, purchased from Parke-Bernet Galleries sale, lot 14, by Allan Frumkin Gallery, Chicago, April 20, 1966?April 22, 1966 [memo of April 22, 1966 in curatorial file]
  • 1966, sold to the Art Institute, Grant J. Pick Collection

Bibliography

  • Museum's website, September 3, 2013
  • 1955 [Guggenheim]
    Constantin Brancusi, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1955.
  • 1966 [Rubinstein sale]
    Modern Paintings and Sculpture, Part One: The Collection of Helena Rubinstein (New York: Parke-Bernet Galleries, 1966), pp. 22 (ill.), 23 (ill.), lot 14, as La Negresse blanche, c. 1930.
  • 1968 Geist
    Sidney Geist, Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1968), pp. 102 (ill.), 111, 228, cat. 173, as White Negress II.
  • 1969 Geist
    Sidney Geist, Constantin Brancusi 1876–1957: A Retrospective Exhibition exh. cat. (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1969), p. 123 (ill.), as White Negress II.
  • 1975 Geist
    Sidney Geist, Brancusi: The Sculpture and Drawings (Harry N. Abrams, 1975), pp. 135 (ill.), 189, cat. 189, as White Negress II.
  • 1979 Hulten, Tabart et Monod-Fontaine
    Pontus Hulten, Marielle Tabart, and Isabelle Monod-Fontaine, Brancusi: Photographie (Musée National d’Art Moderne, 1979), pp. 47 (ill.).
  • 1986 Varia
    Radu Varia, Brancusi (New York: Rizzoli, 1986), pp. 166 (ill.), 167 (ill.).
  • 1987 Bach
    Friedrich Teja Bach, Constantin Brancusi: Metamorphosen Plasticher Form (Cologne: Dumont Buchverlag, 1987), pp. 122, 130 (ill.), 488 (ill.), cat. 235, fig. 188, as Die weiße Negerin II (La Négresse blanche II).
  • 1977 Tarbart
    Tarbart, 1977, cat. 47 (ill.).
  • 1986 Hulten, Dumitrescu and Istrati
    Pontus Hulten, Natalia Dumitrescu, and Alexandre Istrati, Brancusi (Flammarion, 1986), cat. 306 (ill.), cat. 167.
  • 1993 Andreotti
    Margherita Andreotti, “Brancusi’s Golden Bird: A New Species of Modern Sculpture,” Museum Studies v. 19, no. 2 (1993), p. 198, n. 1.
  • 1994 Klein
    Ina Klein, Constantin Brancusi: Natur, Struktur, Skulptur, Architektur (Koln: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 1994), Band I Text, p. 230; Band II Dokumente, p. 273
  • 1995 Miller
    Sanda Miller, Constantin Brancusi: A Survey of His Work (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), pp.
    xviii, fig. 110 (ill.).
  • 1995 Rowell, Bach and Temkin
    Margit Rowell, Friedrich Teja Bach, and Ann Temkin, Constantin Brancusi: 1876–1957 exh. cat. (Gallimard : Centre Georges Pompidou, 1995), p. 262, fig. 1, as La Négresse blanche.
  • 1997 Giedion-Welcker
    Carola Giedion-Welcker, Brancusi als Fotograf: Ein Bildhauer fotografiert sein Werk (Bern: Benteli Verlag, 1997), pp. 123 (ill.), 124, 125, as La Négresse blanche II.
  • 2001 Tabart
    Marielle Tabart, Les carnets de l'atelier Brancusi, La série et l'œuvre unique: L’Oiseau dans l’espace (Éditions du Centre Pompidou, 2001), p. 87 (ill.), fig. 53, as La Négresse blanche II.
  • 2002 Tabart
    Marielle Tabart, Les carnets de l'atelier Brancusi, La série et l'œuvre unique: Le portrait? (Éditions du Centre Pompidou, 2002), pp. 101, 103 (ill), cat. 138as La Négresse blanche II.
  • 2003 Varia
    Radu Varia, C. Brancusi photographe exh. cat. (Paris: Galerie Hopkins Custot, 2003), pp. 54, 55 (ill.), as La Négresse blanche II

Exhibitions

  • 1955-1956 New York/Philadelphia
    Constantin Brancusi, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, October 26, 1955–January 8, 1956; traveled to Philadelphia Museum of Art, January 27–February 26, 1956

    1966 New York
    Modern Paintings and Sculpture, Part One: The Collection of Helena Rubinstein, New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, April 13–20, 1966, pp. 22 (ill.), 23 (ill.), lot 14, as La Negresse blanche, c. 1930

    1969-1970 Philadelphia/New York/Chicago
    Constantin Brancusi 1876–1957: A Retrospective Exhibition, Philadelphia Museum of Art, September 23–October 30, 1969, pp. 123 (ill.), as White Negress II; traveled to New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, November 25, 1969–February 15, 1970; Art Institute of Chicago, March 11–April 26, 1970

Comment

  • Museum's website, September 3, 2013:
    Constantin Brancusi’s art focused not only on the medium and form of his sculptures, but also on the relationships between his works and the light and space around them. His atelier became the site of groundbreaking experimentation, as he regularly combined and recombined the component parts of individual works and rearranged their placement within groups. The complete ensemble of Brancusi’s White Negress II unites the natural elements of stone and wood into an exploration of modern, abstract form, weight, and mass balanced with great lightness and delicacy. The artist avoided having a dealer and instead preferred to show his work to clients and friends in his studio. By the 1950s, his groupings were so critical to his aesthetic goals that he began to refuse to sell his works so that they could remain in their carefully orchestrated installations. (Permanent collection label)