Naum Gabo

Model for ‘Construction on a Line’


Not on display

Naum Gabo 1890–1977
Plastic (cellulose acetate)
Object: 108 × 102 × 38 mm
Presented by the artist 1977

Display caption

Models were an essential stage in Gabo''s working practice. He usually began with drawings, then built models, which allowed him to test the different types of materials he might use. A comparison of the models for Monument for an Airport and Spiral Theme with the finished sculptures on display in this room demonstrates the precision of his enlargement process. Two of the models incorporate pieces of stone, an idea which emerged in 1930-1.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Naum Gabo 1890-1977

T02178 Model for 'Construction on a Line' c.1937

Not inscribed
Plastic, 4 1/4 x 4 x 1 1/2 (10.8 x 10.1 x 3.8)
Presented by the artist 1977
Exh: Naum Gabo: The Constructive Process, Tate Gallery, November 1976-January 1977 (60, repr.) as 'Model for "Construction on a Line" ' c.1935-7

Model for a construction reproduced in Herbert Read and Leslie Martin, Gabo: Constructions, Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings, Engravings (London 1957), pl.59 as 'Construction on a Line' 1935-7, of which there are four larger versions each 45.7 x 43.2cm, including three in the collections of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, James Johnson Sweeney, New York, and Mrs Lois Ventris, London. One of these, probably the last, was exhibited in Constructions by N. Gabo, London Gallery, London, January 1938 (10) as 'Construction on a Line in Space' 1937.

The Ventris piece was originally bought by Mrs Dora Ventris, the mother of Michael Ventris, the young architect and archeologist who succeeded in deciphering the Linear B script in 1952-3. Gabo, who was very fond of him, dedicated this sculpture to Michael Ventris' memory after his death in a car accident in 1956.

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.246-7, reproduced p.246

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