Naum Gabo was a Russian sculptor who, like the artist of this painting, lived in Britain for several years due to the effects of the Second World War on mainland Europe. Working mainly in the artists’ community of St Ives, Gabo was interested in scientific developments in the understanding of space and materials. Jankel Adler was particularly influenced by Gabo’s use of space, and in this painting pays homage to one of his artistic influences. Gabo is depicted as a semi-realistic figure holding one of his abstract sculptures, exemplifying the pull between realism and abstraction in post-war British art. The Modern One has two sculptures by Naum Gabo in its collection.