Naum Gabo: art that resides where life occurs

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 “In public squares and streets is where we expose our work… Art should attend us everywhere that life flows and acts… at the bench, at the table, at work, at rest, at play; on working days and holidays… at home and on the road… in order that the flame to live should not extinguish in mankind.”, Naum Gabo (1890-1977)

For Gabo, Russian constructivist and kinetic artist, formed as an architect but closer to design and sculpture, art has to have a functional form, to be incident, vitalist and constituent for society. From January to September, London has enjoyed one of the most interesting exhibitions of the year.

In his work, he studies the perception of space, time and movement and he delivers a display of geometric forms unfolded geometrically in curved surfaces which twist ruled with lineal strokes. As a sculptor he explores new malleable and synthetic materials. He is guided exploring accessible space filled with possibilities between his hands. With it he develops, practices and materializes structures from pure intuitive experimenting, although derived in theoretical referents of a geometrical analysis of space.   

Poetic art of “space-time” concept

Although the intellectual vision of the artist is inspired by modern physics, the creative construction that Gabo presents to the world is not scientific, but poetic. It is time poetry, space poetry of physical unity and cosmical harmony. Art accepts this universal multiplicity that science investigates and reveals, and reduces to the concreteness of a symbolic plastic.

Gabo affirms that spiritual experience is the root to artistic production. He expresses it through the dynamic equilibrium generated between emptiness and the material of his works, which seem to contain the generating forces of the universe.

From the absolute and the exact

 Like all the most significant artists, their work and life were molded by the time they lived (beginning of XX century), and that which in a way they contributed to define.

Standing in the avant-garde of all artistic tradition, he created in 1920 what is considered the first kinetic artwork. That same year, with his brother, artist Antonie Pevsner, he wrote “Realistic Manifesto” where he proclaims the beginning of pure constructivism.

For Gabo, art should stop being imitative but try to discover new forms. This is how through his experimental creations he gives light to a new dimension. A gift, for those that observe his work. Pure visual alquemy. A sparkle of the same creative, triggering and mutating forces. 

Photograhy: Oscar Rivilla

Music: Electrophorus

Translation: Covadonga López-Fanjul

Hair&Make-up: Sara Trueba

Art Direction: Óscar Rivilla and Carolina Verd


Agatha Ruiz de la Prada