The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 1998

Aesthetics and Philosophy of the Arts

Stefan Munteanu
Pages 127-132

The Art and Philosophy of Balance at Constantin Brâncusi

Our paper intends to be an attempt of making evident the joining of the art and the philosophy of Constantin Brâncusi, the most outstanding representative of sculpture in our century. The way of approaching this topic was suggested to us by the great artist and thinker himself, who urges us that we should not make difficult what he expressed in a simple way. Of course, his multipurpose creation makes our job quite difficult, but we think the effort is worth doing, because in spite of all the limited commentaries, we succeeded in fiding out the coherence and the universality of his thinking as well as his capacity of placing himself above the cleatism—heraclitionism dispute which is considered as being fundamental for the whole history of art. That is because there exists, and we can speak about a unity of his works in all, based on the solidarity of the forms of his sculpture. As a result, mixing up the formal entities with the deviations from the principles of identity and noncontradiction in the discursive logic, we discover another type of logic in his creation. It is the logic of the metaphorical thinking, of the symbolic thinking based on the principle that anything can be something else in the same moment. This is why the aesthetic commentary, concerned with the modality of the suggestive expression, requires a complementarity of a hermeneutics of the symbol, capable of revealing the intention of the work in its complexity. Therefore, our attempt of considering the symbol of the ovoid as the keystone of Brâncusi’s philosophical conception, appears to be verisimilar. That is because, from the archetypal perspective, according to the arhaic Romanian philosophy, the egg is just the in-between shape (between en the spherical and hourglass, between geometric and biotic, between eleatic and heraclitian); it is the element by which the formal-aesthetic analysis can be unified; it is the synthesis of the opposites and the joy of the equilibrium.