Naum Gabo

Model for ‘Construction Through a Plane’

c.1935–7

Medium
Plastic
Dimensions
Object: 152 x 152 x 32 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the artist 1977
Reference
T02177

Display caption

Many of Gabo's sculptures first appeared as tiny models. They were often projects for monumental public schemes, rarely achieved, in which sculpture and architecture came together. His proposal that Monument for an Airport could be used to advertise Imperial Airways, as either a desk display or an outdoor sculpture, was never realised. Model for 'Torsion', however, was eventually translated into a large fountain outside St Thomas' Hospital in London. Gabo's increasing concern, from the late 1930s, with the aesthetic aspect of his work at the expense of the industrial can be seen in Model for 'Construction in Space "Crystal"'.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Naum Gabo 1890-1977

T02177 Model for 'Construction through a Plane' c.1935-7

Not inscribed
Plastic, 6 x 6 x 1 1/4 (15.2 x 15.2 x 3.1)
Presented by the artist 1977
Exh: Naum Gabo: The Constructive Process, Tate Gallery, November 1976-January 1977 (58, repr.) as 'Model for "Construction on a Plane" ' c.1935-7

A model for the construction reproduced in Herbert Read and Leslie Martin, Gabo: Constructions, Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings, Engravings (London 1957), pls.57 and 58 as 'Construction on a Plane' 1937 which exists in three versions, all the same size (48 x 48cm square): two like this with a black centre in the collections of Sir Leslie Martin, Cambridge, and Mrs Miriam Gabo, and one (said by Mrs Gabo to be later) with a white centre, which was acquired by the Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1947. One of those with a black centre was reproduced in the catalogue of the exhibition Living Art in England at the London Gallery, London, in January-February 1939 which included two works by Gabo: 'Construction through a Plane' 1935-7 and 'Construction in Space' 1938. The reproduction was entitled 'Construction' 1938, but this appears to have been a mistake. A work entitled 'Construction through a Plane' 1935-7 also figured in his one-man exhibition at the London Gallery in January 1938.

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.245, reproduced p.245

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