Constructing Modernity: The Art and Career of Naum Gabo
Artist(s): Naum Gabo
Author(s): Martin Hammer
Year published: 2000
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 534
Illustrations: Illustrated in black and white throughout
Dedicated from Gabo’s daughter to M.J. Long.
Naum Gabo (1890-1977), whose eventful life took him from his native Russia to Berlin, Paris, London, and finally the United States, achieved renown as one of the most inventive and controversial figures in twentieth-century sculpture. This book is the first comprehensive account of Gabo’s life, career, and artistic theory and practice. Martin Hammer and Christina Lodder explore in detail the evolution of the artist’s work and his aesthetic concerns, creative processes, assimilation of such new materials as plastic, and approach to public sculpture. The authors also examine his response to the scientific and political revolutions of his age and trace the origins and development of Gabo’s utopian conviction that Constructivist art was profoundly in tune with modernity, social progress, and advances in science and technology. Drawing on Gabo’s extensive and largely unpublished archives of letters, diaries, notebooks, models, and sketchbooks, Hammer and Lodder discuss the sculptor’s work in the context of his relations with other avant-garde artists, architects, and critics, including his brother Antoine Pevsner. They also situate his aesthetic theory and practice within the Constructivist movement and the wider tradition of twentieth-century art, and they examine Gabo’s accomplishments in each of the diverse milieus in which he worked.