- Naum Gabo
- Model for a Sculpture in Rotterdam (Final Model for Bijenkorf Construction, Rotterdam)
- painted brass, copper and steel on a bronze base
- height (not including base): 153.5cm.
- 60 1/2 in.
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Vienna, Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Kunst von 1900 bis Heute, 1962, no. 206, illustrated in the catalogue
London, The Tate Gallery, Naum Gabo: Sixty Years of Constructivism, 1987
Oxford, Museum of Modern Art; Newcastle, Hatton Gallery; Hull, Ferens Art Gallery; Manchester, Manchester City Art Gallery; Birmingham, Birmingham City Art Gallery & Glasgow, Glasgow Art Gallery & Museum, Naum Gabo: The Constructive Idea: Sculpture, Drawings, Paintings, Monoprints, 1987-88, no. 29 (with incorrect measurements)
'Integration des arts dans l’architecture', in Aujourd’hui: art et architecture, year 2, no. 11, January 1957, illustrated p. 18
Herbert Read & Leslie Martin, Gabo: Constructions, Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings, Engravings, London, 1957, illustrated pls. 98 & 99
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, London, 1981, mentioned p. 260
Colin Sanderson & Christina Lodder, 'Catalogue Raisonné of the Constructions and Sculptures' in Naum Gabo: Sixty Years of Constructivism (exhibition catalogue), Munich, 1985, no. 67.4, catalogued pp. 244-245
Colin Sanderson, 'Gabo Revisited', in Art Monthly, February 1988, mentioned p. 16
Martin Hammer & Christina Lodder, Constructing Modernity: The Art & Career of Naum Gabo, New Haven & London, 2000, mentioned p. 357
Natalia Sidlina, Naum Gabo, London, 2012, photographs of the project pp. 180-181
In 1954 Gabo was approached by the architect Marcel Breuer who was working on the construction of a new building in the centre of Rotterdam, which was to house the Bijenkorf department store. Breuer wanted Gabo to create a sculpture which would match the overall aesthetic of his own project by ameliorating the street side appearance of its austere, minimalist façade. Gabo was intrigued by the possibility of working alongside a major architect whose work he greatly admired, and by the opportunity to be part of the redevelopment of Rotterdam in the wake of the Second World War. Initially, he envisaged mounting a large relief on the side of the building, but in November that idea was abandoned and the sculptor and Breuer sought permission for a freestanding structure instead. As much of an artistic challenge as one of engineering, the completed work was to stand at 85 feet high. Pre-stressed concrete, steel, bronze wire and marble were all employed to give the work both the structural durability and the desired aesthetic effect. The present model was created as a perfect scaled-down version from which the artist could gauge the impact of his work when set against Breuer’s own architectural model of the department store.