Brâncușis Măiastra in twelve-meter-high glass cube

Craiova Art Museum honors sculptor with impressive glass art

When works of art from a sculptor are exhibited underground they need an even stronger above-ground anchor point. This is the idea that led to the creation of the twelve-meter-high cube above the new „Brâncuși Museum“ in Craiova, which is dedicated to the work of the great Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși. The imposing all-glass construction is a tribute to the artist that is visible from afar. With glass panes that are the full height of the building (sedak) the shell is just as impressive as the filigree interior, also made from glass, which is designed to look sculptural and is based on a typical Brâncuși work – the mythical bird Măiastra.

Craiova, the sixth-largest city in Romania (around 260,000 inhabitants), has honored one of its most famous artists, the sculptor Constantin Brâncuși, by adding the „Constantin Brâncuși International Art Center“ to the city‘s Art Museum. In order to provide extra space for the new exhibition without altering the historic free-standing building, the museum has been extended downwards and given an underground wing.

Above the ground a new work of art has been added: a glass pavilion that bridges the gap between architecture and sculpture, a piece of „op-art“ providing an optical illusion consisting of different forms - as is typical for the work of Brâncuși, a glass cube in which an oval, fusiform structure shines and shimmers. The building-art-work is thus also a reference to a project that Brâncuși never realized: the Temple of Indore.

Impressive are the glass panes, each of them twelve by three meters in size, which form the sides of the cube on its quadratic base. Inside, horizontally layered glass lamellae define an ovoid shape reminiscent of the sculpture „Măiastra“ in silhouette, a piece of art created in the sense of Brâncușis work. Here, a completely independent spatial experience awaits the visitor: from the underground level, a glass elevator - transporting only a single person - rises to the centre of the pavilion. In the few seconds that the journey takes, this person can immerse himself in the world of Brâncuși and experience what the artist wanted to convey through his work: sublimity, peace and the illumination of the mind. 

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