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This work is related to a mathematical model in the Institut Poincaré, Paris, representing an 'oscillating developable of a cubic ellipse'. This model had been shown in May 1936 in the Exposition Surréaliste d'Objets at the Galerie Ratton. Like the Surrealists, Gabo was struck by the lyrical, sometimes fanciful nature of these geometrical models. He later said that he aimed in this work - one of a series on the theme - to 'take this complicated formula and change its realisation to prove that what was basically a fantasy (the intuition of the mathematician) could be seen through the intuition of an artist'.

August 2004