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Naum Gabo (1890-1977)
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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, unique
19¼ in. (49 cm.) high
Conceived in 1959.
Provenance
Otto Gerson & Claude Bernard Haim, by whom acquired from the artist in December 1959.
with Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, where purchased in November 1960.
Anonymous sale; Christie’s, London, 19 June 2013, lot 360.
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, Cent sculpteurs de Daumier à nos jours, Saint-Etienne, Musée d'Art et d'Industrie, 1960, fig. 37, no. 86, illustrated.
N. Gabo, Constructions, Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings, Engravings, Neuchâtel, 1961, p. 200, no. 86, illustrated.
'Die Sammlung der Brüder', Du Zutich Year 35, 1975, p. 27, no. 2.
Exhibition catalogue, Sammlungen Hans und Walter Bechtler, Zurich, Kunsthaus Zurich, 1982, p. 62, no. 93, illustrated.
S. Nash & J. Merkert, Naum Gabo, Sixty Years of Constructivism, New York, 1985, p. 237, no. 55.16.
Exhibited
Saint-Etienne, Musée d'Art et d'Industrie, Cent sculpteurs de Daumier à nos jours, 1960, no. 86.
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zurich, Sammlungen Hans und Walter Bechtler, August - October 1982, no. 93.
Special Notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Pippa Jacomb
Pippa Jacomb

Lot Essay

Created in 1959, Linear Construction in Space No. 2 is a unique variation of one of Naum Gabo's favourite constructions. The first example had been made a decade earlier and was one of the first works that Gabo created after his move to 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.

Gabo's Linear Construction in Space No. 2 continued his exploration of the new medium of Perspex, which he begun to use shortly before the first example was created. 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 construction, 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. A number are in museums, including one presented by Gabo himself to the Tate Gallery, 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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