naum gabo portrait

Portrait of a Sculpture focuses on Naum Gabo’s artwork

Naum Gabo is one of the pioneers of modern sculpture. His striking three-dimensional construction that has flanked De Bijenkorf department store on the Coolsingel since 1957 is now the subject of a new book: Gabo – Portrait Of A Sculpture.

The history of this untitled sculpture by Gabo is interwoven with the history of the city in many ways. The immediate reason for the publication is the completed and long-awaited restoration of the work. The book examines the sculpture from many angles. The history of the sculpture then and now as well as its relationship to Rotterdam. The sculpture in relation to Gabo’s thinking and oeuvre, and the restoration and the changing meaning of the sculpture.

A national monument

‘Het Ding’ or ‘the stylized flower’, as the work of 26 meters high and 40.000 kilos is also called, was the icon of modernity on the modern Coolsingel at the time. In 2011, the Bijenkorf building and the artwork were declared a national monument from the reconstruction period. The spatial construction from 1957, together with the artworks by Zadkine and Henry Moore, is seen as one of the three figureheads of the international sculpture collection of Rotterdam: Sculpture International Rotterdam. 

On Thursday 7 April Publisher Jap Sam Books, Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR), Visual Arts & Public Space (BKOR) and CBK Rotterdam present the book (English, Dutch) at Zaal Staal, across the street, during a Z-Files. Z-Files are lectures, presentations and excursions about art and the city by BKOR en Sculpture International Rotterdam. The aim is to bring the special collection of artworks to the attention and to highlight current developments. Tickets for this specific presentation can be booked here.

During the Z-Files Ove Lucas (director CBK Rotterdam) is the moderator. He talks to initiator Dees Linders (former artistic director SIR) and Patricia van Ulzen (author) about the publication. Next is a lecture by Sjeng Scheijen (specialist of Russian art) and a festive toast. The musical accompaniment is provided by the Gabosingers.

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