Part-Estate Naum Gabo (1890–1977)
Naum Borisowitsch Pevsner, who later called himself Naum Gabo, grew up in Russia. After his schooling he went to Munich, where he attended polytechnic college from 1910 to 1914. During the First World War Gabo fled to Denmark, but in 1917, when the Russian Revolution broke out, he returned to his home city of Briansk. In 1920, he and his brother Antoine wrote the “Realistic Manifesto”, which was to have a decisive influence on the development of sculpture. In 1922 Gabo came to Berlin to help set up the “First Russian Art Exhibition” (in Galerie van Diemen), and remained living in the city until 1932. He exhibited together with the “Novembergruppe”, gave lectures at the Bauhaus, and designed the famous stage set of “La Chatte” for Serge Diaghilev and his “Ballets Russes”. The artist’s first individual exhibition took place in the Kestner Society in Hanover in 1930. A year later, Gabo participated in a competition for the design of the Palace of Soviets in Moscow, which was never realised. After Gabo’s studio had been searched by the SS, the artist left Berlin and moved to Paris, where he joined the group “Abstraction – Création”. Gabo emigrated to the USA via England in 1946, becoming an American citizen in 1952.
Nina Williams, the artist’s daughter, has been giving parts of Gabo’s estate into the keeping of the Berlinische Galerie since 1987. The Naum Gabo Archive of the Berlinische Galerie contains the “Realistic Manifesto”, the catalogue and a photo of the “First Russian Art Exhibition”, published and unpublished manuscripts by the artist, sketches, correspondence, exhibition papers, notes, and Gabo’s work photographs.
Naum Gabo’s address book 1920s
Donation from Nina Williams 1987