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books

Brancusi, A Study of the Sculpture

Sidney Geist, Brancusi, A Study of the Sculpture (Grossman Publishers,

New York, 1968), 248 pages, illustrations.

Toward the end of his life Rodin was asked how it felt to be the greatest sculptor of the last century. He replied that this was no great honor as there were so few great sculptors in his time. To say that Sidney Geist’s book on Brancusi is the best on a modern sculptor beggars his achievement, for there are so few good books to begin with. What has hindered our understanding of modern sculpture is not the lack of a bibliography or its neglect by historians in favor of painting, but the surfeit of bad writing in the name of surveys and concise histories as well as many hastily-produced monographs.

Geist’s book is distinguished not just because he sets simple but important goals for himself and meets them, but because they are in the service of increasing our understanding, and

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