Hardback, 208 pages
By Sidlina Natalia
Principally known as the main protagonist of the Constructivist movement in the 1920s, Russian artist Naum Gabo (1890 - 1977) created some of the most inspirational sculptures of the twentieth-century. His constructions, ranging from the early figurative Head No.2, to his large public kinetic sculpture commissions, embodied the modernist preoccupations of art in relation to science, architecture and philosophy, and made him one of the leading figures of the Russian avant-garde. After studying engineering in Munich, Gabo moved back to Russia in 1917, and there developed the theories and practice of Constructivism, a term he coined with his brother in their 'Realistic Manifesto' of 1920 which promoted art as a part of man's everyday existence without the confinement of artistic terms and convention. Gabo traveled extensively to the hubs of modernism in Europe, spending time with the de Stijl and teaching at the Bauhaus, and in Paris in the wake of Nazi occupation to join Mondrian's Abstraction-Creation group. Upon the outbreak of World War II, he moved to Cornwall, where his influence on the St Ives group can be seen in the work of BarbaraHepworth and Peter Lanyon, amongst others. He later emigrated to the United States. Gabo's work is most admired for its rigorous enquiries into ways of representing mass, volume and space. His sensitive and imaginative use of materials, ranging from fishing line, to Perspex, to wood, created a rhythm and balance within his sculptures evoking intense emotional responses. A new dedicated monograph on this truly original artist is long overdue, and this accessible and comprehensive book is the ideal guide to Gabo's life and work. Containing over 140 colour illustrations, including photographs from private archives and the artist's family collections, "Naum Gabo" will introduce a new audience to the achievements of one of the twentieth-century's most unsung artistic masters.