Naum Gabo (Sculptor)

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2015-06-26 10:41:52

Naum Gabo was a prominent Russian/American sculptor.

 

Biography

Gabo was born Naum Neemia Pevsner on 5, August 1890 in Bryansk, Russia. He abandoned a medical career and began to study art in Munich under the great art historian Heinrich Wolfflin. In 1912, Gabo transferred to an engineering school in Munich and that turned out to be a key decision for his future career. Since then on, he began making constructed sculpture in Germany as well as in Norway, where he took the name of Gabo.

Gabo exhibited in both Europe and the USA. He also lectured at Yale University, Harvard University and the University of Chicago. In 1952, he took American citizenship, taught at the Harvard University Graduate School of Architecture (1953-54) and delivered the A.W. Mellon Lectures in 1959 in Washington DC.

In 1971 he was awarded an Honorary KBE - Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire - by Queen Elizabeth II. He continued to receive honours, prizes, commissions (including the large sculpture commission for the Bijenkorf store in Rotterdam 1955-1957) and international recognition until the end of his life. Naum Gabo died on 23, August 1977 in Connecticut, USA. He was 87.

Guide for Collectors

Gabo's work can be found in major museums throughout the world. An extensive collection of Gabo works can be found in Tate - a family of four galleries: Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St. Ives. It contains his most important works like Head No. 2 from 1916, Sketch from 1917, Sketch for Relief Construction from 1917, sculpture called Model for 'Constructed Torso' from 1917 or Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave) from 1919-1920.

Besides Tate, many other museums and galleries include Gabo’s works in their collections. For example: Berlinsche Galerie, Berlin, Germany; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA; Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland; Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, England; Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany; Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Pompidou Centre, Paris, France or Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture, Grenoble, France.

Most famous works

One of Gabo's most famous works is his first masterpiece called the Constructed Head No. 2 of 1916. Next, one of the monumental pieces he executed is his 81-foot construction that stands in front of the Bijenkorf Department Store in Rotterdam, Netherlands. This work is composed of a bronze-coated steel mesh that adheres to a skeletal frame resembling an upright seedpod.

Another Gabo’s famous works include Linear Construction in Space No 1 (sold for £183,000 on 23, June 1997 at Christie’s auction, London), Construction in Space: Suspended: Reconstruction (sold for $216,000 on 9, November 2006 at Christie’s auction in New York), Spheric Theme: Black Variation (sold for £121,250 on 25, June 2009 at Sotheby’s in London) or Construction in Space: Suspended (sold for $132,000 on 5, May 2005 at Christie’s auction in New York).

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