Spiral Theme
© Nina Williams

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Spiral Theme 1941
This is one of four small models which precede two large sculptures. The sculpture is small enough to hold quite comfortably in two hands. Gabo's 'Spiral Theme' works are considered his most successful and were made while the artist was living near St Ives in Cornwall. The plastic materials were provided by a friend who worked for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). Using transparent materials in his sculptures allowed Gabo to sculpt with space itself. In keeping with the constructivist ethos, Gabo constructed his sculptures from independent elements rather than by carving or modelling.

Glossary Open


A geometric, abstract style founded in the early twentieth century in Russia by Vladimir Tatlin. The movement reflected the machine age through its use of new technology and materials and applied its theories to architecture and design as well as fine art. Exiled artists such as Naum Gabo helped to spread the Constructivist ideas. ‘Constructionist’ and ‘constructed abstract art’ are also terms used to describe work relating to these ideas.



  • Acc. No. GMA 2978
  • Medium Celluloid on perspex base
  • Size Base 0.20 x 15.90 x 15.60 cm; 6.80 x 16.80 x 11.30 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1986