Naum Gabo, a pioneer of constructive art, was born Naum Neemia Borisowitch Pevsner in Russia in 1890 as the younger brother of the sculptor Antoine Pevsner. He began with sculpture in Norway in 1915, when he took the name of Gabo. He and his brother returned to Russia at the time of the Revolution and worked in Moscow with Tatlin, Kandinsky and Malevich. In 1922, Gabo left Russia for Berlin where he was in contact with the artists of the de Stijl group and the Bauhaus and exhibited in the Erste Russische Kunstaustellung at the Van Diemen Galerie. With Pevsner, he designed the set and costumes for Diaghilev's ballet La Chatte 1926. In 1932 he left Germany for Paris and remained there until 1936. He visited and exhibited in the USA in 1938 but spent the war in Cornwall, where his daughter, Nina, was born. The family left England to settle in the USA in 1946. He became a US citizen in 1952 and was professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at Harvard University from 1953 to 1954. He completed a number of large commissions, including a 25 metre high free standing sculpture for the Bijenkorf Building in Rotterdam. Naum Gabo died in Connecticut in 1977.
Models were an essential stage in Gabo's working practice. He usually began with drawings, then built models, which allowed him to test the different types of materials he might use.