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CBK Rotterdam

Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam

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Rotterdam Cultural Histories, Photo: Herbert Behrens, National Archive, Collection Anefo
Photo: Herbert Behrens, National Archives, Collection Anefo

Rotterdam Cultural Histories #10: Naum Gabo

exhibition: 27 / 01 / 2017 - 28 / 05 / 2017
Location: TENT

The 10e edition of the exhibition series Rotterdam Cultural Histories is about Naum Gabo. The work of the Russian-American Naum Gabo (1890-1977) can be found on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam. The sculpture is the largest constructivist artwork ever placed in public space. 'The thing' or 'the stylized flower' is 26 meters high and 40.000 kilos heavy. At the time, the Gabo was the icon of modernity on the modern Coolsingel.

In 2011, the Bijenkorf building and the work of art were declared a national monument from the reconstruction period. The sculpture has been in poor condition for years and is being restored in 2017. In 2017 a start is also being made with the long-awaited redesign of the Coolsingel. In the run-up to this restoration Rotterdam Cultural Histories #10 an impression of the history of sculpture. This is done on the basis of preliminary designs, visual material of the unveiling and documentation of various restorations that have been carried out over the years.

The client for the sculpture was Bijenkorf director Van der Wal. He was advised by Nelly van Doesburg, the widow of Theo van Doesburg and connoisseur of abstract modern art. The work was placed in 1957 for the department store designed by architect Marcel Breuer on the Coolsingel.

Rotterdam Cultural Histories is a collaboration between TENT and Witte de With, which explores their common roots in Rotterdam. Rotterdam Cultural Histories was set up by Defne Ayas (director Witte de With) and Mariette Dölle (former artistic director TENT). This edition is organized by Witte de With and Sculpture International Rotterdam. The sculpture by Gabo is included in the international sculpture collection of the city, Sculpture International Rotterdam, but is only owned by IEF Capital.

Opening: 26 / 01 / 17, 17: 00 hours

TENT is the platform for contemporary art in the context of Rotterdam with exhibitions, new productions, educational projects, performances and events with makers from the city and beyond.
To website TENT

Sculpture International Rotterdam manages the international sculpture collection of Rotterdam, brings it to the attention and develops a metropolitan international art policy.
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BKOR manages and renews the extensive city collection in collaboration with Rotterdam residents, companies and institutions. BKOR advises the municipality, citizens and artists on the realization, placement, relocation and remediation of public works of art.
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Art Office mediates, informs and supports visual artists from Rotterdam with regard to their professional practice. For artists, institutions and individuals.
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