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Alex Lu 3/25/2012 AP Art History Brancusi vs.

Gauguin Constantin Brancusi was a Romanian sculptor who trained initially as a carpenter and stonemason. He settled in Paris in 1904 where his early influences included African as well as oriental art. Although Rodin was another early influence, Brancusi decided he wished to make much simpler work and began an evolutionary search for pure form. While never entirely rejecting the natural world, Brancusi undoubtedly succeeds in conveying a sense of gravity by reducing his work to a few basic elements. Paradoxically, this process also tends to highlight the complexity of thought that has gone into its making. Witness the studied serenity and distilled eroticism of Sleeping Muse, for example. In contrast to his many polished works in marble and bronze are his roughly hewn works in wood. Brancusi did much to encourage a revival of carving and great respect for an artist's materials. During his later years, he polished the surface of his earlier works. Monumental, subtle and intimate, Brancusi's sculptures are rightly now considered to be the work of a modern master. Constantin Brancusi would most likely find Gauguins art to be impure, as it lacks any sort of semblance to that of Brancusi. Furthermore, due to the nature of Gauguins work, with a traditional, colorful landscape, Brancusi would say that the work lacks subject, and is too literal and his experimentation with coloring led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art while his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential exponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms. Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France to journalist Clovis Gauguin and halfPeruvian Aline Maria Chazal, the daughter of proto-socialist leader Flora Tristan. In 1851 the family left Paris for Peru, motivated by the political climate of the period. Clovis died on the voyage, leaving three-year old Paul, his mother and his sister to fend for themselves. They lived for four years in Lima, Peru with Paul's uncle and his family. The imagery of Peru would later influence Paul in his art.