Sculpture by Naum Gabo

Human beings have formulated different ways of communicating their emotions to the world throughout their history. These methods of communication have enabled them to express their deepest feeling that normal words cannot express. This has been as a result of that desire to be understood or to pass a critical message to the world. Among the channels of communication that has been exploited by human beings over a long period of time is music, culture, clothing, art, etc. Among the above methods of expression that still remains a profound channel of communication is art. There are different forms of art that has been elicited in history. Among them is sculptor. Similarly, there are different artists in history whose work has become a subject of study even in the modern times. Among these artists is Naum Gabo.

Naum Gabo was born Naum Neemia Pevsner in Bryansk, Russia. Howevre, he changed his name from Naum Neemia Pevsner in order to distinguish himself from his brother Antoine Pevsner who was also an artist. Naum established himself as an artist after having been to a medical school and attended an engineering class. However, his interest in art made him pursue art leading to enormous contribution to the world of art.

There are different styles that were used by Naum Gabo in his work of art. One of major styles of art was sculpture. The pieces of art that are still remembered even in the present times that Gabo worked on are in form of sculpture. This is whereby different materials were brought together an image that represented something in nature in a three dimensional form. Most of his sculptures were torsos of human beings. The sculptural work of Gabo was greatly influenced by mathematics and science as he sought to integrate mathematics and science into the field of art with an reiteration that mass and space and how they related to each other in nature (Kleiner 725).    

Construction In Space With Rose Marble 1966

Similarly, Gabo used different materials in establishing his work. First he began with cardboard and plywood as he worked on producing images or sculpture that embraced space and mass principles. Space was incorporated in the body of his work thus enabling him to produce three dimensional sculptures that had space in between. However, as time went by, he began working with materials such as glass and iron sheets. He also used nylon materials and plastic in coming up with his work. Therefore, instead of carving, Gabo majored on construction whereby he literally used these materials and the available technology to construct his sculptures. According to Arts Underground (2009), he was highly criticized for constructing his work in this way as some of the artists saw this as a way of depriving art is natural touch and introducing abstract in the whole arena of art a factor that eliminated expression as the main aim of artistic work.

Naum Gabo was also associated with certain artistic movements during his time as an artist. To begin with, Naum was associated with the constructivism. Constructivism can be described as a school of thought that promotes the personal reflection as a way of creating or constructing understanding in nature. Therefore, the movement of constructivism in art proposed that art was more than jus creating images that would fulfill the desires of the eye but rather it involved the use of feelings and emotions. Therefore, according to constructivism, artists were required to create their work based on what they felt from within, what they had experienced in life and what they had seen in the life of others especially in regards to social circles. In his work ‘Realistic Manifesto’ together with his brother Antoine Pevsner, Gabo proposed that art was supposed to be presented in transcendent reality rather than factual reality that according to Gabo had no place in the society as it was far away pulled from the actual societal feeling and emotional expression (Krauss 57). 

There are various comments that can be made towards the work of Naum Gabo as a student of the 20th century art. First, his work, being an original work has opened up door to research in the field of art on different ways that can be used to utilize available materials in nature in coming up with artistic pieces that are motivating, original and that carry a feeling and emotion of humanity. Similarly, some of these materials require that different technological styles are used for one to be successful in developing his piece of art. In this regard, it can be said that the work of Gabo, especially the use of metal and glass in developing his sculpture has helped artistic scientists to carry out research on methods that can be employed to help artists develop their work with ease, accuracy and speed.

In conclusion, the 20th century saw an evolution in the world of art than had been seen before. This is elicited in the work of Naum Gabo, who through the use of science and mathematics came up with sculptures that had space and that had been constructed rather than being carved. His contribution to the world of art has invited both criticism and support in form of further research on sculpture as a form of art. In addition, the use of materials such as glass in constructing sculpture has taken root and many artists in the modern world are shunning away from carving to constructing using glass. 

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