Sleeping Muse

circa 1917-1922

Silver print mounted on cardboard

17.5 x 23.5 cm

A silver print mounted on cardboard bears the dry stamp of sculptor Constantin Brancusi. He took this photograph of Sleeping Muse, one of his works. Resting on its side, an alabaster head has barely sketched features. The soft, sensual portrait is diluted in a nearly abstract universal oval form. A work within a work, this photograph pushes the limits of figurative art.

Brancusi's art is based on variations of the same themes, such as the Sleeping Muse. Tiny differences between the original plaster, marble (1909-1910), alabaster (1917-1918) and bronze proofs blur the face. Man Ray taught Brancusi how to document his works. There are seven prints of the alabaster version presented here.

Brancusi's Sleeping Muse was first exhibited by the Pinault Collection in 2015 at the "Slip of the Tongue" exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.