Yellow Bird Artist: Constantin Brancusi (Romanian, 1876–1957)

1919

Modern and Contemporary Art

On view, 3rd floor, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design

The blending of hand-worked natural materials such as wood, stone, or bronze with abstract form is characteristic of Brancusi's unique brand of modernism. This work balances color, texture, and form through a contrast of sensuous organic materials: sleek, veined marble, roughly textured wood, and smooth white limestone. While the use of natural materials and subject matter evokes the eternal theme of nature, the bird's upwardly striving, aerodynamic form nevertheless expresses the modern urge toward speed and space. The incorporation of the base as an essential element of the sculpture is typical of the artist's oeuvre.

Medium

Yellow marble, limestone, and oak

Dimensions

h. : 87 1/4 in. (221.6 cm)
base (top limestone base): 7 7/8 × 15 1/2 in. (20 × 39.4 cm)
base (oak base): 26 7/8 × 9 5/8 in. (68.3 × 24.5 cm)
marble: 36 1/4 × 6 × 6 3/4 in. (92 × 15.2 × 17.2 cm)
base (bottom limestone base): 7 7/8 × 15 1/2 in. (20 × 39.4 cm)
base (saw-toothed Limestone base): 8 1/4 × 3 1/2 × 3 3/4 × 4 7/16 × 5 in. (21 × 8.9 × 9.5 × 11.2 × 12.7 cm)
with base: 138 1/8 × 15 1/2 in. (350.9 × 39.4 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Katherine S. Dreier

Accession Number

1952.30.1a-d

Culture
Period

20th century

Classification
Disclaimer

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

Bibliography
  • James Prosek and Edith Devaney, James Prosek: Art, Artifact, Artifice, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2020), 84, pl. 62
  • Ketevan Kintsurashvili, David Kakabadzé: Georgian Modern Artist and Inventor (New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2013), 140
  • Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 152, fig. 13
  • Alexander Archipenko: Vision and Continuity, exh. cat. (New York: Ukrainian Museum, 2005),
  • Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 126–27, fig. 122
  • Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 85, no. 58, ill
  • Athena T. Spear, Brancusi's Birds (New York: New York University Press, 1969), 13, no. 10, fig. 15
  • Sidney Geist, Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture (New York: Grossman, 1968), 68, 200–201, no. 116
  • H. E. F., "The Little Review, Autumn 1921," Arts 2 (December 1921), 186–87, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Signed

Signed at bottom of marble "C Brancusi"; two stone cylinders (on top surfaces) and oak piece (toward the top) each signed with monogram

Technical metadata and APIs

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