Perhaps no sculptor is at once so familiar and so obscure as the late Constantin Brancusi. His bird, a shaft which cuts through space with the swiftness of flight, has to some become a pinnacle of the modern artist's efforts to eliminate the superfluous, to others, a final affront at credulity. In this biographical and critical summary of the Rumanian born artist, the dual nature of his heritage is stressed: a thorough familiarity with the rich world of modern art as it developed in the beginning of this century in Paris, and a deep sense of communion with Eastern meditative attitudes. Deeply imbued with a peasant's confidence in nature, Brancusi strove throughout his life to stress essential rhythms, stripping his work of the nonessential. 157 photographs of his work, commented upon by the author make this a definitive work on the artist, one to be read both by serious students of scuplture and by those who look for a key to the ambiguities of modern art.