American, born Russia, 1890-1977
Naum Gabo believed that art should reflect contemporary culture and hoped to express the successful coexistence of nature and science. To create Linear No. 2, Variation, he used the decidedly modern materials of stainless steel and plastic, reflecting the optimism and excitement he felt about technological progress. Gabo applied his training in engineering, science, and math to the precise design of this work; he even integrated a star in the center that can be seen from certain angles. This sculpture also reflects the ideas of Constructivism—an earlier art movement that focused on the importance of space as part of a composition and the use of line as a sculptural form. However, Gabo did not wish his sculpture to be viewed solely in academic terms. He also allowed intuition to drive his compositions in order to imbue his craft with emotion and provide a kind of solace and renewal for the spirit.
Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018