A bird of 27 million dollars

HAVANA, Cuba.- In May 2005, the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) made history again when his sculpture “L’oiseau dans l’espace” (“Bird in Space”) was sold at the house Christie’s, New York for 27.5 million dollars, a record figure for a sculpture purchased at auction at that time. The work, considered a milestone in abstract art, had its first version in 1923, made in marble, and twenty-eight over forty years. Its size is 287.7 cm. To spit it out, Brancusi did not take into account the shape of the bird, but its movement. To this day, numerous critics believe that the beauty of this sculpture, based on simplicity, synthesis and a delicate balance, is unmatched.

The creation process included seven marble figures and nine bronze casts, which are currently distributed among different museums and galleries around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Seattle Art Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in Venice, and the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra.

Although “L’oiseau dans l’espace” does not appear in the top ten of the sculptures most expensive in history, although another of his creations, “Madame LR”, does occupy a place in that distinguished ranking. Considered one of his most interesting works, the wooden statuette was auctioned in 2009 for 37.2 million dollars, and became part of the personal collection of the prestigious fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent.

Several sculptures have fetched higher amounts at auction, with the Italian Alberto Giacometti being the most valued artist. His work “Pointing Man”, created in 1947, was auctioned in 2015 at Christie’s for $141.3 million, an absolute record to date.

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