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