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Naum Gabo 1890-1977
T02189 Linear Form (probably Part of the Model for the First Bijenkorf Project) 1954
Plastic with metal wires, 2 2/3 x 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 (6 x 4 x 4)
Presented by the artist 1977
Exh: Naum Gabo: The Constructive Process, Tate Gallery, November 1976-January 1977 (87) as one of 'Three Untitled Models (Variations on a Theme)' c.1953
When asked shortly before he died what was the purpose of this and the three small works T02190-2, Gabo replied that they were structural ideas which were used later on as parts of constructions (information from Mrs Gabo, 17 August 1977). However it has since been discovered that one or more of them formed part of the first project for the Bijenkorf department store in Rotterdam, which consisted of a wall sculpture against the Coolsingel façade. Photographs of the model show that this was intended to extend almost the entire height of the façade from the second storey upwards, with a form like 'Linear Construction No.2' in the centre and four smaller forms set diagonally at the corners. This particular piece T02189 can be recognised in the photographs as the form at the bottom right.
G.C. Leene, the architect to the Bijenkorf Company, who provided information about these projects in a letter of 22 August 1977, adds that Gabo signed a first contract with the architect Marcel Breuer on 22 June 1954 and the model for this first design was already in Amsterdam by 4 September 1954. The Tate Gallery also has the model for the second project, for a free-standing sculpture, which was the one actually carried out (T02188).
Mrs Gabo and Nina S. Gabo subsequently confirmed that these four pieces were done for this project.
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.258-9, reproduced p.258