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Bird in Space

Bird in Space, 1931

Constantin Brancusi
Romanian, 1876-1957
Polished bronze
73 in. (185.4 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© Succession Brancusi / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

On view

Brancusi produced his first Bird in Space—a sleek abstraction of flight—in 1923. He went on to create fifteen variations on the theme, working in both bronze and marble. This version, cast in 1931, was acquired by Yashwant Rao Holkar II—the young Maharaja of Indore—for his Art Deco palace. During his visit to Brancusi’s studio in 1933, the Maharaja also reserved two other Birds in Space (in black marble and white, today at the National Gallery of Australia). When Brancusi shipped these to India three years later, he enclosed a note explaining, “My birds are a series of different objects based on a central theme that remains the same throughout. The ideal of its realization is to be an amplification that fills the whole vault of heaven.”

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