Naum Gabo

1890–1977

Naum Gabo, ‘Head No. 2’ 1916, enlarged version 1964
Head No. 2 1916, enlarged version 1964
The Work of Naum Gabo © Nina & Graham Williams/Tate, London 2017
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Biography

Artist biography

Naum Gabo 1890-1977

Constructive sculptor and painter. Born in Briansk in Russia, named Naum Pevsner; younger brother of the sculptor Antoine Pevsner. Entered Munich University in 1910, studying first medicine, then the natural sciences; also attended art history lectures by Wölfflin. Transferred in 1912 to an engineering school in Munich. Met Kandinsky and in 1913-14 joined his brother Antoine (then a painter) in Paris. After the outbreak of war moved first to Copenhagen, then Oslo; began to make constructions in 1915 under the name Naum Gabo. 1917-22 in Moscow with Pevsner, Tatlin, Kandinsky and Malevich; wrote and issued jointly with Pevsner in 1920 a Realistic Manifesto proclaiming the tenets of pure Constructivism. Lived 1922-32 in Berlin in contact with the artists of the de Stijl group and the Bauhaus. First one-man exhibition with Pevsner at the Galerie Percier, Paris, 1924. With Pevsner, designed the set and costumes for Diaghilev's ballet La Chatte 1926. 1932-5 in Paris, a member of Abstraction-Creation; 1935-46 in England, first in London, then from 1939 at Carbis Bay in Cornwall. Edited Circle jointly with J.L. Martin and Ben Nicholson in 1937. Moved in 1946 to the USA and settled in 1953 at Middlebury, Connecticut; became a US citizen in 1952. Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at Harvard University 1953-4. From 1950 onwards carried out several large sculpture commissions, including a sculpture for the Bijenkorf store in Rotterdam 1955-7. Created Hon. KBE 1971. Died at Waterbury, Connecticut.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.231

Wikipedia entry

Naum Gabo, born Naum Neemia Pevsner (5 August [O.S. 24 July] 1890 – 23 August 1977) (Hebrew: נחום נחמיה פבזנר) was a prominent Russian sculptor in the Constructivism movement and a pioneer of Kinetic Art.

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Artworks

Film and audio

Watch

TateShots: Interview with the artist Naum Gabo's daughter

An interview with the artist Naum Gabo's daughter, Nina Williams

Watch

Gabo at Home

Home Movie of Naum Gabo by Clifford Chieffo, circa 1962

Listen

Naum Gabo: Discovering the Archive

Art historian Christina Lodder introduces Gabo through his correspondence, writings, sketches and models, followed by a viewing of works in ...

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