Пространственные сетчатые конструкции и бионическая архитектура

вторник, 1 июля 2008 г.

Construction in space

Nahum Borisovich Pevzner was born on August 5, 1890 in Bryansk. At the age of 15 he moves to Tomsk. From 1907 to 1910 Nahum studies in an institute in Kursk and graduates it with “special honors” for his achievements in the fields of literature and creativity. From 1907 onwards he starts to experiment with drawing and creates his first paintings. After that, he travels in Paris and Zurich. In Germany he visits the famous art critic and scholar Heinrich Wolflen. He also travels extensively in Italy. In 1914 he leaves Germany, since it becomes unsafe to stay there: Russians automatically started to become perceived as enemies. In 1915-1916 Nahum works on creating his first sculptures. In order to be distinguished from his brother, also an artist, he takes on the pseudonym – Gabo.

Nahum Gabo is one of the most significant pioneers in 20th century art. With his ideas of contemporary sculpture he revolutionized, to a greater extent than than anyone else, our conceptions of sculpture as well as our perceptions of it. For a long time it seemed to be entirely unfathomable why his art, which undoubtedly exerted a considerable amount of influence on the history of development of art and, up to the present days, which greatly determines sculptural thought, had returned to the wide audience’s consciousness only a few years ago – with the great retrospective of 1985-1986. A considerable role in returning Gabo’s legacy was carried out by the Berlin Gallery, which from 1988-1989 has presented constant exhibitions its representative collection of his art works, which pertain for the most part to his Berlin period from 1922 to 1932.

The reason for such a late acceptance of Nahum Gabo’s successive artistic conceptions is well-known: his ground-breaking early masterpiece, which for many decades had been considered lost, had been discovered only following his decease in 1977 and had witnessed in the forementioned retrospective its belated revival. However, even up to the present day, it is considered by many that the complexity of this work in all of its effects is still to be discovered and researched in all of its details. In the former Soviet Union Gabo is still almost entirely unknown. We do know about the location of many of his sculptures in public venues in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Carried out in iron, the original of his Torso of 1917-1918, demonstrated at the legendary First Russian Eartistic Exhibition in Berlin at the Van Diemen Gallery in 1922 is considered lost.

What we understand as Constructivism in an international specimen of sculpture, is derived in its roots from an almost arbitrary sketch of a Construction in space. In 1920 in Moscow he has formulated his ideas thesis-wise in a bold prophetic conception – the Realist Manifesto. Examining this phenomenon from the present-day historic perspective, he was undoubtedly at the height of the artistic project of the future of his time.

With his Realist Manifesto Nahun Gabo has firmly established himself in the history of the arts, since the bold demands, which he made of the art of his time, were embodied by him five years earlier in his sculptures into radically transformed forms. This way, his theory has been based on the practice of his own artistic discoveries. It remains a remarkable fact that during the course of sixty years in the most diverse aspects of his art Gabo did not deviate from his theory and was not fated to renounce it.
It is as if he gathered all of his scientific and philosophical knowledge and combined it into one single work; with his sculptures he created a basis, which carried a crucial significance in the work of his life: the inter-changeability of physical mass, space and time.

In the following years Nahum Gabo had manifested his formulas for sculpture-building, which had shed off all previous traditions, in entirely classical themes: his Head and his Marked Torso. The forms are nt modelled from physical mass any more, but are connected by being inserted one into another from a single surface, so that the filling up space is limited to a network of lines. The corporeality itself appears with the aid of surfaces, placed diagonally to each other, which form hundredfold shreds of vacuum. The means for plasticity is served not by the physical mass but by its opposite – emptiness.

A coherent form, contemporary materials, a regularity of strict geometrical qualities and exact formulations of the engineerial fantasy, inspired by nature, all served as artistic means for expression of an entirely new aesthetics. In these art works, which often were given titles, correlating with architecture – Tower, Monument or Well – Gabo’s conceptual vision is expressed perceivably; such spacial constructions, at a certain perod of time, had contemporary technique made it possible to build them into monumental capacities, would have become the architectural foundations for building houses cathedrals of the 20th century.

On August 23, 1977, following a lengthy illness, Nahum Gabo passed away in Waterberry Hospital in Connecticut.
His dream was to transform architecture, following the spirit of Constructivist art, into a meeting place for people of our century, in which this social hope, free of any ideology, would be experienced by the senses. Today, when so many things change with an enticing speed and we are all overwhelmed by problems, which even now seem to be unresolvable and which, possibly, present themselves as a distant foreboding of what awaits for us in the future, we are, once again, approached, as a distant hope, by the concrete utopian vision of art of Nahum Gabo.

“I know that the creative act
is not some kind of mystical “trance,”
nor “divine inspiration,”
but a moment of the utmost tension
of the human intellect,
aspiring to bring the “unconscious”
(i.e. the subconscious)
into the form of consciousness”

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