new-york

Naum Gabo

Pace | 32 East 57th Street

In his “Realistic Manifesto” of 1920 (co-signed by his brother Antoine Pevsner), Naum Gabo declared, “We do not measure our works with the yardstick of beauty, we do not weigh them with pounds of tenderness and sentiments.” But the works on view in this recent showmarvelous late-Cubist heads and space constructions that entangle the viewer in their intricacyare in fact beautiful and emotionally evocative. One doesn’t usually associate the attributes haunting, melodramatic, and intimate with the Russian constructivist’s work, but that’s exactly what these sculptures are.

In his artistic trajectory from the heads to the space constructions, Gabo seems to have found his emotional and aesthetic center. Most of the latter works contain an inner sanctum from which one is shut out by a surrounding rhythmic web, as if the sculpture had enshrined the void at its core. Isn’t that absence at the center

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