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T02143 Construction in Space 'Two Cones' 1927/68
Plastic, 9 7/8 x 12 1/4 x 16 1/2 (27 x 31 x 42), excluding marble base; height including base 10 1/2 (27)
Presented by the artist 1977
Exh: Naum Gabo: The Constructive Process, Tate Gallery, November 1976-January 1977 (24) as 'Construction in Space "2 Cones" ' 1927
This is a late remake, made in 1968, of a sculpture now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (A.E. Gallatin collection). The first version was reproduced in Circle, ed. J.L. Martin, Ben Nicholson and N. Gabo (London 1937), sculpture pl.6 as 'Construction' 1928, and in Herbert Read and Leslie Martin, Gabo: Constructions, Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings, Engravings (London 1957), pl.43 as 'Construction in Space' 1927. Gabo himself told the Philadelphia Museum in 1968 that its correct date was 1927.
The original version is constructed of a material called Rhodoid, a form of cellulose acetate, which has deteriorated seriously. In January 1968 the sculpture was taken to Gabo in Connecticut for inspection and possible repair. Unfortunately, he felt that repair was impossible and reconstruction proved to be prohibitively expensive. It still exists in the reserve at the Philadelphia Museum, but in a badly deteriorated state.
Gabo made this new version for himself at this time. It resembles the first version closely, except that it is on a base of white marble, whereas the other originally had a base of coloured, veined marble.
(This note is based on information from Anne d'Harnoncourt and the artist).
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, pp.239-40, reproduced p.239