Naum Gabo

Opus One

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About this artwork

In 1946 Gabo moved from England to America, settling in Woodbury, Connecticut. A neighbour, William Ivins Jnr., the retired curator of prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, encouraged him to make woodcut prints. Gabo began making monoprints – unique prints made from wood blocks – early in 1950. He made them periodically until about 1975. Although the monoprints were not conceived as a series, in 1976 Gabo selected the twelve most resolved images for inclusion in a portfolio. Gabo died in 1977 and Twelve Monoprinted Wood Engravings, with a text by Michael Mazur, was published posthumously in an edition of twenty sets. Opus One was Gabo’s first monoprint, made in early 1950. It was engraved in the sawn-off leg of a piece of mahogany furniture – a wood not normally used for engraving because it is so hard. There are forty-seven recorded examples of this work.

Published September 2021

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Naum Gabo

Naum Gabo