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Naum Gabo (1890-1977)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 2… Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED SWISS COLLECTION
Naum Gabo (1890-1977)

Linear Construction in Space No. 2

Details
Naum Gabo (1890-1977)
Linear Construction in Space No. 2
signed 'Gabo' (on one of the outer edges of the Perspex)
Perspex, aluminium and stainless steel spring-wire
Height: 19¼ in. (49 cm.)
Executed in 1959; this work is unique
Provenance
Otto Gerson & Claude Bernard Haim, by whom acquired from the artist in December 1959.
Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner in November 1960.
Literature
N. Gabo, Constructions, Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings, Engravings, Neuchâtel, 1961, no. 86, p. 200 (illustrated).
'Die Sammlung der Brüder', in Du Zutich Year 35, 1975, no. 2, p. 27.
S. Nash & J. Merkert, Naum Gabo, Sixty Years of Constructivism, New York, 1985, no. 55.16, p. 237.
Exhibited
Saint-Etienne, Musée d'Art et d'Industrie, Cent sculpteurs de Daumier à nos jours, 1960, no. 86 (illustrated fig. 37).
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zurich, Sammlungen Hans und Walter Bechtler, August - October 1982, no. 93, p. 62 (illustrated).
Special Notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.
Sale Room Notice
Please note this work is signed 'Gabo' (on one of the outer edges of the Perspex).

Brought to you by

Antoine Lebouteiller
Antoine Lebouteiller

Lot Essay

Created in 1959, Linear Construction in Space No. 2 is a unique variation of one of Naum Gabo's favourite compositions. The first example had been made a decade earlier and was one of the first works that Gabo had created after his move to the United States of America, following the Second World War. The original Linear Construction in Space No. 2 related to elements that Gabo included in one of his architectural commissions, where he had been invited to create works for the interior of the Esso Building in New York.

As well as a new home, Gabo's Linear Construction in Space No. 2 appears to celebrate new materials: it was only shortly before the first example was created that he had discovered the potential of Perspex, then still a new material. Whereas a large number of the examples of this composition incorporated nylon monofilament, another new material, Linear Construction in Space No. 2 instead employs steel spring-wire. This adds a solidity and taut tension to the composition, while also explaining its alternative title, Construction en matière plastique, aluminium et fils d'acier.

This composition, having originally come into existence as part of a larger project, perfectly embodied Gabo's Constructivist ethos. There is no figurative content, but instead a celebration of material, light, time and space. This elegant, complex construction would soon take on life in its own right: examples in various sizes and materials were created over the following years. Of the 26 versions of Linear Construction in Space No. 2 listed in the catalogue raisonné of Gabo's works, many are unique variations rather than pure copies, varying in scale and appearance; indeed, it has been pointed out that some of the later examples benefitted from Gabo's hindsight and are therefore in a better state of preservation than the very first ones. A number are also in museums, including one presented by Gabo himself to Tate, London in memory of his friend, the art historian Sir Herbert Read, who had himself voiced his own admiration of the composition.

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