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The Kiss

Constantin Brancusi (French (born Romania), 1876–1957)

The embracing figures in The Kiss merge into a single form. Two eyes make the oval of a single eye, hairlines sweep into a continuous arch, and arms join to encircle the cubic block. The artist’s fourth version of the same theme, it exhibits the greatest formal unity. Brancusi recommended that it be displayed very simply on its own base, in line with his belief that, for sculpture, "it is the complete thing that counts."

The Kiss joined the collection of Walter and Louise Arensberg in 1932. At first, the Arensbergs displayed it on its own, set on top of a truncated beam, but by the mid-1940s they had placed it at the center of a low bench by Brancusi, and flanked it with six carved Pre-Columbian sculptures. That display strategy reflected the trend of looking to non-Western traditions for fresh and powerful artistic expression.

Object Details

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