Thursday, 16 December 2010
Naum Gabo, a Russian by birth, was a sculptor of Constructivism who professed Formalistic tendencies. Gabo studied medicine, natural science and engineering at Munich University. At that time he had the opportunity to hear Heinrich Wolfflin's lectures on art history which, it is said, prompted the discovery that he had interest in both science and art. In 1917 after his return to Russia he made an active commitment to the avant-garde movement. The impetus provided by an exhibition in 1922 in Berlin, transformed him into a German Constructivist and from the 1930s he even more actively participated in abstract trends. His works can be roughly divided into three different categories: surface, line and moving sculptures and this work falls into the second. Gabo considered line to be one element of construction, and worked as if he were creating something as elaborate as woven fiber. This sculpture, composed of translucent plastic line, was begun towards the end of the 1930s. By connecting these plastic lines, to the basic structure its organic form was created. Thus an object with volume but lacking the appearance of weight was created. In addition, he was able to bring external space into the interior of the object and visualize it. The tightly stretched strings also inspire a feeling of tension as well as hinting at movement. Works such as this one, which suggested movement and those of his sculptures, which actually did move, made him a pioneer in the Kinetic Art movement.