A favorite motif of Constantin Brâncusi was a totemlike stack of truncated rhomboids executed in various materials. The first version, an indoor sculpture, stands about 10 feet high. The most famous Endless Column, 98 feet tall, anchors the Endless Column Park in a Romanian mining town, Târgu Jiu.
It was in 1935 that Brâncusi was commissioned to create a sculpture as a memorial honoring soldiers who had defended Târgu Jiu during the First World War. Completed right before the Second World War, as it turned out, the column eventually suffered damage at the hands of the Communists. After it was placed on the World Monuments Fund’s watch list in 1996, the resulting years-long restoration effort was mired in controversy.
Finally, with the cast-iron modules sandblasted and re-clad in brass and the steel spine supporting them rebuilt, the conservation of the landscaping has been overseen by Olin, and L’Observatoire International has added lighting. Dramatically lit by in-ground metal-halides, Endless Column is “bright at the base but fades into the night sky,” L’Observatoire principal Hervé Descottes says. Perhaps a pathway to heaven.