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Encyclopedia > Naum Gabo

Naum Gabo KBE (August 5, 1890 - August 23, 1977) was a prominent Russian sculptor in the Constructivism movement and a pioneer of Kinetic Art. After the outbreak of war, he moved first to Copenhagen then Oslo with his older brother Alexei, making his first constructions under the name Naum Gabo in 1915. These earliest constructions originally in cardboard or wood were figurative such as the Head No.2 in the Tate collection. He moved back to Russia in 1917, to become involved in politics and art spending five years in Moscow with Antoine Pevsner, his younger brother. The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE) Knight Commander... is the 217th day of the year (218th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar). ... is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... “Sculptor” redirects here. ... Tatlin Tower. ... The Tinguely Fountain in front of the Tinguely Museum in Basel Kinetic art is sculpture that contains moving parts. ...

Gabo contributed to the Agit-prop open air exhibitions and taught at 'VKhUTEMAS' the Higher Art and Technical Workshop, with Tatlin, Kandinsky and Rodchenko. During this period the reliefs and construction became more geometric and Gabo began to experiment with kinetic sculpture though the majority of the work was lost or destroyed. Gabo's designs had become increasingly monumental but there was little opportunity to apply them commenting 'It was the height of civil war, hunger and disorder in Russia. To find any part of machinery … was next to impossible'. Gabo wrote and issued jointly with Antoine Pevsner in August 1920 a 'Realistic Manifesto' proclaiming the tenets of pure Constructivism - the first time that the term was used. In the manifesto Gabo criticised Cubism and Futurism as not becoming fully abstract arts and stated that the spiritual experience was the root of artistic production. Gabo and Pevsner promoted the manifesto by staging an exhibition on a bandstand on Tverskoy Boulevard in Moscow and posted the manifesto on hoardings around the city. Agitprop is short for отдел агитации и пропаганды (otdel agitatsii i propagandy), i. ... VKhUTEMAS (Russian acronym for Higher State Art and Technical Workshops) was the Russian state art and technical school founded in 1920 in Moscow, and dissolved in 1930. ... Vladimir Yevgrafovich Tatlin (Владимир Евграфович Татлин) (December 28 [O.S. December 16] 1885 – May 31, 1953) worked as a painter and architect. ... Alexandr Rodchenko (November 23(Old Style) December 5(New Style), 1891 in St. ... Kinetic sculptures are sculptures that are designed to move. ... The Realistic Manifesto, is a key text of Constructivism written by sculptor Naum Gabo and cosigned by his brother Antoine Pevsner. ...

The manifesto was a break with Tatlin's and Rodchenko's increasingly politicised Constructivism and Malevich's Suprematism. With the introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1921 support for the Constructivists ended. When Gabo and Pevsner where invited to install an exhibition in Berlin in 1922 they chose not to return to Moscow. Self-portrait, 1933 Kazimir Severinovich Malevich (Казимир Северинович Малевич, Polish Malewicz, Ukrainian transliteration Malevych, German Kasimir Malewitsch), (February 12, 1878 – May 15, 1935) was a painter and... This term is not to be confused with supremacism. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

In Germany Gabo came into contact with the artists of the de Stijl and taught at the Bauhaus in 1928. During this period he realised a design for a fountain in Dresden (since destroyed). Gabo and Antoine Pevsner had a joint exhibition at the Galerie Percier, Paris in 1924 and the pair designed the set and costumes for Diaghilev's ballet La Chatte (1926) that toured to Paris and London. To escape the rise of the Nazis in Germany the pair stayed in Paris in 1932-5 as members of the Abstraction-Creation group with Piet Mondrian. De Stijl redirects here. ... For the British gothic rock band, see Bauhaus (band). ... Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (Сергей Павлович Дягилев) (March 19, 1872 – August 19, 1929), often known as Serge, was a Russian ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes from which many famous... Abstraction-Création was a loose association of artists formed in Paris in 1931 to counteract the influence of the powerful Surrealist group led by André Breton. ... Pieter Cornelis (Piet) Mondriaan, after 1912 Mondrian, (pronounced: Pete Mon-dree-on, IPA: ) (b. ...


Influence In Britain

From 1935-1946 Gabo worked in England, first in London, then from 1939 at Carbis Bay, Cornwall. Gabo's work and theories had a profound effect on Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth whose work became entirely abstract and many other leading British artists adopted Gabo's methods and use of new materials such as plastics. In 1936 Gabo's work featured in the exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art at the Museum of Modern Art New York. In 1937 he edited the journal 'Circle' jointly with Leslie Martin and Nicholson and contributed an illustrated essay that promoted Constructivism and the principles of Kinetic Art that had a lasting impact on a generation of British architects and designers. Gabo exhibited in group exhibitions at the London Gallery and played an important role in establishing pure abstraction in Britain as an artistic movement in opposition to Surrealism. During the later war years Gabo worked for the Design Research Unit. Carbis Bay shown within Cornwall Carbis Bay (Cornish: Karrbons) is a village in the district of Penwith in Cornwall, United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... This article is about the museum in New York City. ... Sir John Leslie Martin KBE (Manchester, 17 August 1908 – 28 July 1999) was an English Architect. ... The Tinguely Fountain in front of the Tinguely Museum in Basel Kinetic art is sculpture that contains moving parts. ... Max Ernst. ...

Gabo brought with him to Britain dozens of sketches and models for unrealised projects including Monument for an Airport (1932). This piece after much development formed the basis of the design of Torsion (1970-75) a fountain commissioned for St. Thomas Hospital, London. Other large scale projects Gabo realised include sculptures for the Baltimore Museum of Art and a De Bijenkorf Department Store in Rotterdam. Saint Thomas’ Hospital. ...

Later years

Gabo moved to the USA in 1946 and settled first in Woodbury, Connecticut and later, in 1952, in Middlebury, Connecticut. He gained citizenship in the USA in 1952, and was made Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at Harvard University 1953-4. In 1961 Gabo made a return trip to Moscow and retrieved a number of early works. During his later period Gabo was commissioned to carry out a number of large scale projects in America and Europe. He was given an Honorary Knighthood (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972, and an honorary Doctorate by the Royal College of Art. The Tate Gallery held a retrospective of his work in 1976 and Gabo gifted a large collection of his work and papers to the gallery. Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE) Knight Commander... The Darwin Building at Kensington Gore The Royal College of Art (RCA) is a university in London, England. ...

Gabo married Miriam Israels in 1936 and the couple had one daughter, Nina Serafima, born 1939. Naum Gabo died at the age of 87 in 1977 in Waterbury, Connecticut. For the Columbian journalist, see Gabriel García Márquez. ... Nickname: Motto: Quid Aere Perennius (What Is More Lasting Than Brass) Location in Connecticut Coordinates: , Country U.S. State NECTA Waterbury Region Central Naugatuck Valley Incorporated (town) 1686 Incorporated (city) 1853 Consolidated 1902 Government  - Type Mayor-board of aldermen  - Mayor Michael J. Jarjura Area  - City  28. ...

Gabo's Theory of Art

The essence of Gabo's art was the exploration of space which he believed could be done without having to depict mass. His earliest constructions such as Head No.2 were formal experiments in depicting the volume of a figure without carrying its mass. Gabo's other concern as described in the 'Realist Manifesto' was that art needed to exist actively in four dimensions including time.

Gabo's formative years were in Munich, where he was inspired by and actively participated in the artistic, scientific, and philosophical debates of the early years of the 20th century. Because of his involvement in these intellectual debates, Gabo became a leading figure in Moscow’s avante garde, in post-Revolution Russia. It was in Munich that Gabo attended the lectures of art historian Heinrich Wolfflin and gained knowledge of the ideas of Einstein and his fellow innovators of scientific theory, as well as the philosopher Henri Bergson. As a student of medicine, natural science and engineering, his understanding of the order present in the natural world mystically links all creation in the universe. Just before the onset of the First World War in 1914, Gabo discovered contemporary art, by reading Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, which asserted the principles of abstract art. Henri-Louis Bergson (October 18, 1859–January 4, 1941) was a major French philosopher, influential in the first half of the 20th century. ...

Gabo’s vision is imaginative and passionate, over the years his exhibitions have generated immense enthusiasm because of the emotional power present in his sculpture. Gabo said of his own sculpture that he himself was “making images to communicate my feelings of the world.” In his work, Gabo used time and space as construction elements and in them solid matter unfolds and becomes beautifully surreal and otherworldly. His sculptures initiate a connection between what is tangible and intangible, between what is simplistic in its reality and the unlimited possibilities of intuitive imagination. Imaginative as Gabo was, his practicality lent itself to the conception and production of his works. He devised systems of construction which were not only used for his elegantly elaborate sculptures but were viable for architecture as well. He was also innovative in his works, using a wide variety of materials including the earliest plastics, fishing line, bronze, sheets of Perspex, and boulders. He sometimes even used motors to move the sculpture.

London’s South Bank Centre is the location of the largest collection of Gabo’s sculpture. Caroline Collier, the gallery exhibition organizer there and an authority on Gabo’s work said, “The real stuff of Gabo’s art is not his physical materials, but his perception of space, time and movement. In the calmness at the ‘still centre’ of even his smallest works, we sense the vastness of space, the enormity of his conception, time as continuous growth.” In fact, the element of movement in Gabo’s sculpture is connected to a strong rhythm, more implicit and deeper than the chaotic patterns of life itself. The exactness of form leads the viewer to imagine journeying into, through, over and around his sculptures.

Gabo was an inventor, his works do not describe natural things and each sculpture is moving in its uniqueness. There exists in his sculptures a near perfection of form which stirs the mind’s eye to focus on inner feelings. However the audience to his creation has difficulty retrieving their focus from the trance-like state that his sculptures induce in viewers.

Gabo wrote his Realistic Manifesto, in which he ascribed his philosophy for his constructive art and his joy at the opportunities opened up by the Revolution in Russia. Gabo saw the Revolution as the beginning of a renewal of human values. Five thousand copies of the manifesto tract were displayed in Moscow streets in 1920.

Gabo had lived through a revolution and two world wars; he was also Jewish and had fled Nazi Germany. Gabo’s acute awareness of turmoil sought out solace in the peacefulness that was so fully realized in his “ideal” art forms. It was in his sculpture that he evaded all the chaos, violence, and despair he had survived. Gabo chose to look past all that was dark in his life, creating sculptures that though fragile are balanced so as to give us a sense of the constructions delicately holding turmoil at bay.

See Also

  • Logan Medal of the arts, awarded to Gabo in 1954

  Results from FactBites:
Naum Gabo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1716 words)
Naum Gabo (born Naum Neemia Pevsner August 5, 1890 in Briansk Russia died August 23, 1977 in Waterbury Connecticut) was a prominent sculptor in the Constructivism movement and a pioneer of Kinetic Art
Gabo transferred in 1912 to an engineering school in Munich where he discovered abstract art and met Wassily Kandinsky and in 1913-14 joined his brother Antoine (who was already established as a painter) in Paris.
Naum Gabo died at the age of 87 in 1977 in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Art - Naum Gabo (510 words)
Gabo was born in Briansk, Russia, in 1890 and his youth was quite turbulent.
Gabo was arrested for being a member of some illegal group, as soon as he had arrived in Briansk.
Naum Gabo went to Florence and Venice (on foot!) and later to Paris, Russia and Munich.
  More results at FactBites »



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