Photo: Herbert Behrens, National Archives, Collection Anefo


27/01/2017 — 28/05/2017

Rotterdam Cultural Histories #10: Naum Gabo

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 Rotterdam Coolsingel. The sculpture is the largest constructivist work of art ever placed in public space. 'The thing' or 'the stylized flower' is 26 meters high and weighs 40.000 kilos. 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