Gabo was born in Russia under the name of Naum Pevsner, and was the younger brother of the sculptor Antoine Pevsner. He began his professional education at Munich University (1910) in medicine, changing to engineering, and after meeting Kandinsky, joined his brother in Paris. He began making constructions in 1915, returning to Moscow until 1922 when began publishing essays on Constructivism. In Berlin he associated with the de Stijl group and the Bauhaus as well as designing for Diaghilev's ballet and becoming a member of Abstraction-Creation. He first visited England in 1935.

He married Miriam Israels, a niece of the Hague School painter Jozef Israels, and the couple lived in London. They moved to Carbis Bay near St Ives in September of 1939 to be near Barbara HEPWORTH and Ben NICHOLSON, after working on the Circle magazine with Ben previously in London. The best resume of Gabo's life in Cornwall is offered by Michael BIRD in St Ives Artists.

Gabo moved to the USA in 1946, and became a US citizen in 1952. He died in the USA.


Constructions, kinetic art; teacher, author


1992 Artists from Cornwall, RWE Bristol

2020: Naum Gabo at Tate St Ives (25 Jan-3 May)


Bird (2008) St Ives Artists: Place & Time;

Cork, R (1989) 'The Visual Arts' [in] B Ford (ed) The Edwardian Age and the Inter-War Years, Vol 8 Cambridge Guide to the Arts in Britain.

Cross (2002) Catching the Wave/Contemporary Art & Artists in Cornwall 1975-present day (pp16, illus)

Davies (1994) St Ives Revisited - innovators and followers

Hoyle, H (Dec 2010 Women Artists in Cornwall Review of BBC4 documentary 'Art of Cornwall'

Hoyle, H (Oct 2013 Women Artists in Cornwall 'Margaret Mellis and St Ives Modernism'

Olson & Chanin (MOMA, New York 1948) Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner, by Ruth (biographies and bibliographies)

RWE (1992) Artists from Cornwall, 'Artist Profiles: Historical', pp 33-7

Tate (1985) St Ives 1939-64: 25 Years of Painting, Sculpture and Pottery (biog notes p120-1 with photo c1944, lg bibliography of his own writings & books and papers by others about his work)