Naum Gabo
Tate St Ives: Exhibition
8 July 13 October 2002
Naum Gabo, 'Opus 3' 1950

Naum Gabo
Opus 3 1950
Wood engraving on paper
image: 202 x 145 mm
Bequeathed by Miriam Gabo, the artist's widow 1995The Work of Naum Gabo © Nina & Graham Williams/Tate, London 2011

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Naum Gabo (1890–1977) was a Russian constructivist artist, who pioneered new ways of making sculpture from plastic, glass and metals. He started making constructions in Moscow around 1915 with Pevsner, Tatlin, Kandinsky and Malevich. This exhibition is a selected survey of sculptures from the Tate Collection.

A highlight of the exhibition is series of prints Opus 1 -12, made late in Gabo’s career, which reflect his artistic concerns in a medium in which he had not previously worked, and are rarely seen as a complete portfolio.

Models and sketches for a number of major works, particularly on the spheric, spiral and kinetic theme are on display. Gabo was one of the earliest artists to experiment with kinetic sculpture and his innovative use of man-made, transparent materials creates a spatial interplay, refracting light and allowing multiple viewpoints.

Also on show is a series of his works in stone, which testify to the diversity of his working practice. These include larger carved sculptures and small found stones in which he inscribed lines and patterns. Gabo came to live in Cornwall shortly after the arrival of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth in the late 1930s and became one of the towns most influential visiting artists.