The Table of Silence (Masa Tăcerii) is made of limestone and represents the table around which soldiers gather before the battle. It suggests a time of recollection, meditation and family reunion prior to major decisions. The passing of time is conveyed by twelve hourglass-shaped chairs, which also recall the twelve apostles. Everything happens in silence.
Constantin Brancusi was born on 19 February 1876 in Hobitza, Romania. He studied art at the School of Arts and Crafts in Craiova (1894 – 1898) and at the National School of Fine Arts in Bucharest (1898 – 1902). In 1904 he moved to Paris, the unrivalled centre of the art world, where he enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts. In 1907 he secured a position in Auguste Rodin’s studio, but soon parted ways with the famous artist, claiming “I felt that I was not giving anything by following the conventional mode of sculpture.”
In 1935, Brancusi was commissioned to create a war memorial in Târgu Jiu, Romania, for which he designed a sculptural ensemble that includes The Table of Silence, The Gate of Kiss, and a monumental Endless Column. The project embodies the concerns most essential to Brancusi’s art: the idealization of aesthetic form; the integration of architecture, sculpture, and furniture; and the poetic evocation of spiritual thought.
Constantin Brancusi was a central figure of the modern movement and the pioneer of abstraction. He innovated sculpture thanks to his evolutionary search for pure forms and primordial sources of folk creation. He carved in wood, limestone and marble or moulded in steel and bronze - sometimes in a single work, mounted one piece of art on top of another, considering “the base” as an integral part of his artwork. He was called the patriarch of modern sculpture.
His monumental and subtle works are housed in the New York Museum of Modern Art and in Bucharest in the National Museum of Art of Romania, as well as in other major museums around the world. The Philadelphia Museum of Art currently has the largest collection of Brancusi sculptures in the United States. Brancusi's onetime studio in Paris is open to the public very close to the Pompidou Centre. His sculptures were sold at the highest prices that sculptural pieces had ever been sold at auctions: "Danaida" for $18.1 million in 2004 and piece from the "Bird in Space" series for $27.5 million in 2005.