Naum Gabo 1890-1977
T02170 Model for 'Double Relief in a Niche' 1929-30
Inscribed 'N. GABO' b.r.
Plastic, cork and cardboard, 4 1/2 x 8 3/4 x 2 (11.4 x 22.2 x 5.1); dimensions including wood and plastic surround 11 x 14 1/8 x 2 3/8 (28.2 x 36 x 6)
Presented by the artist 1977
Exh: Naum Gabo: The Constructive Process, Tate Gallery, November 1976-January 1977 (25, repr.) as 'Model for "Double Relief in a Niche" ' c.1929
Repr: Herbert Read and Leslie Martin, Gabo: Constructions, Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings, Engravings (London 1957), pl.41 as 'Construction in a Niche' 1930
This was made as a project for one of the rooms in the house which the architect Eric Mendelsohn built for himself at Rupenhorn, Berlin, in 1929. The house had a painting by Ozenfant in the hall, a bronze relief by Mataré in the music room, and a painting by Feininger in the dining-room. There is a letter of September 1930 in the Tate Gallery Archive in which Eric Mendelsohn asked Gabo: 'Where are the sketches? I need them urgently, as I must make up my mind'. In the end the commission was abandoned, but Gabo carried out his idea for the left-hand relief independently in the larger 'Construction in a Niche' T02145.
Like the larger constructions T02144
and T02145, this was discovered in a dilapidated state in the loft of Gabo's house in April 1976 and repaired for inclusion in the exhibition at the Tate later the same year.
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.241, reproduced p.241