Naum Gabo

Opus 7


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Naum Gabo 1890–1977
Wood engraving on paper
Image: 203 × 253 mm
Bequeathed by Miriam Gabo, the artist's widow 1995

Display caption

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.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Naum Gabo 1890-1977

P11388 Opus 7 1956-73

Inscribed ‘Gabo’ b.r.
Wood-engraving, 12 x 9¿ (30.5 X 23.8) on Japanese paper, 22 x 15¿ (55.8 x 39.8).
Presented by the artist 1971.

When writing on 28 April 1968 about his previous prints ‘Opus 1–6’, the artist said: ‘since then I have not had the time to do any more engraving or printing.’ This print is therefore later (though he cannot remember its exact date). He afterwards told the compiler that he is making three more prints, all of which were started in the 1970s, and that he hopes eventually to publish his prints in a set of ten in an album. So far he has only printed twenty-five of each as he does all his printing himself, with his hands, and finds this a slow and laborious undertaking; he may nevertheless increase the size of the edition later on. Each impression is different and therefore unique.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1970–1972, London 1972.

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