Naum Gabo Model for ‘Monument to the Astronauts’ c.1966–8

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Artwork details

Artist
Naum Gabo 1890–1977
Title
Model for ‘Monument to the Astronauts’
Date c.1966–8
Medium Plastic, paper and graphite
Dimensions Object: 89 x 76 x 57 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the artist 1977
Reference
T02175

Catalogue entry

Naum Gabo 1890-1977

T02175 Model for 'Monument to the Astronauts' c.1966-8

Not inscribed
Plastic, plastic-coated paper, pencil, 3 1/2 x 3 x 2 1/4 (8.9 x 7.6 x 5.7)
Presented by the artist 1977
Exh: Naum Gabo: The Constructive Process, Tate Gallery, November 1976-January 1977 (53, repr.) as 'Model for "Spheric Theme" (rotating version)' c.1937

This is a model for a project of Gabo's own devising for a 'Monument to the Astronauts'; there is an enlarged version in brass, plastic and stainless steel wire gauze in his estate. Gabo spoke of making this sculpture 18, 20 or 24ft high and placing it at Washington, DC or at Cape Canaveral. He intended the edge of the rotating centre to be outlined with white neon tubes so that at night it could be seen as a floating wave-like form.

He was fond of demonstrating the visual effect of the rotation by making it rotate by blowing with a tube from a (reversed) vacuum cleaner.

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.265, reproduced p.265

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