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Three monoprints by Naum Gabo given to Wakefield

22 Dec 2020

The Hepworth Wakefield is delighted to accept three monoprints by Naum Gabo (1890 – 1977) for the benefit of the nation. The three works have been donated by Graham Williams under the HM Government’s Cultural Gifts Scheme, administered by the Arts Council.

Gabo secured his place in the artistic avant-garde in Russia, then in Paris, before catalysing the development of the Constructive Art movement upon his arrival in Britain in the 1930s. He was a creative influence on Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Ben Nicholson among others. Although best known for his sculpture, Gabo’s monoprints are a significant facet of his artistic output. These prints, begun in 1950 when the artist was 60, were printed by hand from wood cuts and exemplify Gabo’s enduring fascination with abstract forms across different media.

‘there are no limited editions because each print of mine is unique. I print them by hand, each one and it takes me just as much time to make a print as to make a drawing – sometimes longer. No two prints are ever the same’ – Naum Gabo

In his practice, Gabo sought a unique visual language underpinned by the concepts of space and time – the two basic elements he believed were required to express modern life in abstract forms. In his Realistic Manifesto, published with his brother, Antoine Pevsner, in 1920, he noted: ‘Space and time are the only forms on which life is built and hence art must be constructed.’

The three Gabo prints all feature in a new display Into Abstraction that will open as soon as The Hepworth Wakefield is permitted to safely welcome visitors again.