CULTURE

Step Inside Impasse Ronsin, Marcel Duchamp and Yves Klein’s Favorite French Alleyway

In 1916, a relatively nondescript alleyway in Montparnasse saw a radical transformation when it became home to the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s studio – and host to frequent visits by some of the artist’s closest friends, like Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray. More Dada and Surrealist names soon followed suit, and over the next few decades, up until the 60’s, everyone from Yves Klein and Max Ernst to Niki de Saint Phalle and William N. Copley moved their studios into Impasse Ronsin. While the alleyway’s since been subsumed by a massive hospital complex, New York’s Paul Kasmin Gallery has recreated its collaborative spirit with a show of works from the Impasse’s artists, culminating in a facsimile of Brancusi’s studio by Isamu Noguchi, up until January. Get a look back its glory days, here.

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© Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Sheet-metal mail boxes at the Impasse made by Brancusi.

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Shunk-Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

Niki de Saint Phalle shooting one of her assemblages.

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© Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Duchamp, Brancusi, and Tristan Tzara in the studio, 1921.

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© Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Studio of Natalia Dumitescro, 1949.

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© Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Brancusi and his dog, Polaire, photographed by Man Ray.

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© Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The entrance to Brancusi’s studio.

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Douglas Glass, © J.C.C. Glass

Max Ernst in the Impasse, 1954.

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Shunk-Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

Rotraut and Yves Klein in the studio, 1962.

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Brancusi sawing a block of limestone for the chimney, 1932.

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© Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Brancusi’s studio, 1955.

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Claude Lalanne and Jean Tinguely.

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© Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Natalia Dumitresco in her studio, 1956.

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Photo by Mike De Dulman. Artwork © William N. Copley Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

William N. Copley, ca. 1951.

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© Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

“Princess X” by Brancusi, 1916.

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Photo © Martha Rocher / Bibliothèque Kandinsky – Centre Pompidou. Yves Klein and Jean Tinguely artwork © ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jean Tinguely and Yves Klein in the courtyard of the Impasse with their collaborative works Excavatrice de l’espace” and “La Vitesse total,” 1958.

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Francois-Xavier Lalanne and his daughter Dorothee at the Impasse.

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Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery

Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle at the Impasse, 1961.