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In 1935 the Russian-born artist Naum Gabo, a pioneer of abstraction, arrived in England as a refugee. He influenced the development of Modernism in the 1930s and 1940s and was associated with the artists Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, his neighbours in the fishing village of St Ives during the Second World War. After the war he moved to the USA.

There are strong holdings of Gabo's work in the Collection as a result of his stay in England and of his friendship with a previous Tate Director, Sir Norman Reid. Gabo's celebrated geometric constructions (see Archive display) examine the object in space. These wood engravings reflect his sculptural concerns in a two-dimensional format.

August 2004