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Naum Gabo was associated with the Constructivists at the time of the Russian Revolution of 1917. They saw an artistic renewal as part of the revolution and embraced new scientific theories and industrial materials. A method known as 'stereometric construction' was central to Gabo's work, by which form was achieved through the description of space rather than the establishment of mass. He declared in 1920: 'we take four planes and we construct with them the same volume as of four tons of mass.' In 1915-20 Gabo used planes to construct heads and figures that demonstrated the application of this method to traditional subjects. 'Head No.2' is a later enlargement of the most dramatic of these models.

August 2004