(1876-1957) Romanian sculptor. He is a seminal figure in 20th-century art.
Active in Paris from 1904, he was a pioneer of abstract sculpture, developing increasingly simplified representations of natural, or organic, forms, for example the Sleeping Muse 1910 (Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris), a sculpted head that gradually comes to resemble an egg.
In 1904 he walked from Romania to Paris, where he worked briefly in Rodin’s studio. He began to explore direct carving in marble (producing many versions of Rodin’s The Kiss) and was one of the first sculptors in the 20th century to carve directly from his material, working with stone, wood, and metal. By the 1930s he had achieved monumental simplicity with structures of simple repeated forms, for example, Endless Column and other works commissioned for Tirgu Jiu public park, Romania.