Naum Gabo: life and works

Naum Gabo, KBE born Naum Neemia Pevsner (5 August [O.S. 24 July] 1890 – 23 August 1977) (Hebrew: נחום נחמיה פבזנר), was an influential sculptor, theorist, and key figure in Russia’s post-Revolution forward looking and the subsequent go ahead of twentieth-century sculpture. His measure combined geometric abstraction in the same way as a effective organization of form in little reliefs and constructions, monumental public sculpture and pioneering kinetic works that assimilated additional materials such as nylon, wire, lucite and semi-transparent materials, glass and metal. Responding to the scientific and diplomatic revolutions of his age, Gabo led an eventful and peripatetic life, moving to Berlin, Paris, Oslo, Moscow, London, and finally the United States, and within the circles of the major militant movements of the day, including Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, the Bauhaus, de Stijl and the Abstraction-Création group. Two preoccupations, unique to Gabo, were his engagement in representing negative space—”released from any closed volume” or mass—and time. He famously explored the former idea in his Linear Construction works (1942-1971)—used nylon filament to Make voids or interior spaces as “concrete” as the elements of strong mass—and the latter in his pioneering work, Kinetic Sculpture (Standing Waves) (1920), often considered the first kinetic statute of art.

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Gabo elaborated many of his ideas in the Constructivist Realistic Manifesto, which he issued taking into consideration his brother, sculptor Antoine Pevsner as a handbill accompanying their 1920 open-air exhibition in Moscow. In it, he sought to pretend to have past Cubism and Futurism, renouncing what he maxim as the static, decorative use of color, line, volume and solid enlargement in favor of a new element he called “the kinetic rhythms (…) the basic forms of our sharpness of real time.” Gabo held a utopian belief in the aptitude of sculpture—specifically abstract, Constructivist sculpture—to tune human experience and spirituality in tune bearing in mind modernity, social progress, and advances in science and technology. After working on a smaller scale in England during the achievement years (1936-1946), Gabo moved to the United States, where he normal several public sculpture commissions, only some of which he completed. These include Constructie, an 81-foot commemorative monument in belly of the Bijenkorf Department Store (1954, unveiled in 1957) in Rotterdam, and Revolving Torsion, a large fountain outdoor St Thomas Hospital in London. The Tate Gallery, London held a major retrospective of Gabo’s deed in 1966 and holds many key works in its collection, as do the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum in New York. Work by Gabo is afterward included at Rockefeller Center in New York City and The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza Art Collection in Albany, NY.

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