- Museum number
- Object: Opus Ten
Two floating linear forms based upon a curve surrounded by angular planes. Late 1960s-early 1970s
Monoprint in blue ink on thin Japanese paper
- Production date
Height: 303 millimetres (block)
Height: 385 millimetres (sheet, irreg.)
Width: 356 millimetres
Width: 475 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Opus Ten and its preparatory drawings are discussed in 'Naum Gabo Monoprints', edited by Graham Williams, published by the Florin Press for Kettle's Yard, Cambridge and the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, 1987. The Tate Gallery hold this work, two preparatory drawings and two proofs (all exhibited in 'Naum Gabo, The Creative Process' March-June 1994). This monoprint was pulled from an end-grain block of Florida boxwood.
Gabo's monoprints were 'single pulls, each different from the next, not leading to one final state and not necessarily all executed in one period. Paper, ink (density, colour, tone), firmness or slightness of the printing and even local variations of the pressure while producing one pull, accepting or rejecting chance 'faults' in the printing, varying the image by adding forms or lines or by cancelling them with wax ... there were thousands of ways of using the same block or amending it in pursuit of successive ideas' (Norbert Lynton, 'Naum Gabo Monoprints', London, Alan Cristea Gallery, 15 March-22 April 2006).
The smaller image in Opus Ten was the design Gabo chose when designing a cover for a leather portfolio for his monoprints.
Alexander Walker wrote to Alan Cristea on 19/9/97: "The print gives me enormous pleasure: it is quite fascinating to look into its 'depths'".
Text from 'Living with art: The Alexander Walker collection' (British Museum Press, 2020):
Born Naum Pevsner in Russia, Gabo was an exponent of Constructivism, an artistic and architectural movement whose adherents aimed to ‘construct’ art that had a social use and reflected the modern world. After leaving Russia in 1922, he lived in Germany, France and England, before settling in the United States in 1946. Although best known for his sculpture, Gabo began to make monoprints from wood engraving in 1950 at the suggestion of his friend William M. Ivins, Jr (1881–1961), a former curator of prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He produced eighteen designs and printed at least twenty-five unique variants of each by using a variety of colours and papers, and varying the pressure in different areas of the image (see Michael Mazur, ‘The Monoprints of Naum Gabo’, The Print Collector’s Newsletter, 9: 5 (November–December 1978), 148–51). Printed from a block of Florida boxwood, this example is one of at least thirty-one variants of the design he titled 'Opus Ten'.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2004-2005 Jun-Jan, BM, Matisse to Freud: The Alexander Walker Bequest
2006 Oct-Dec, Lincoln, Usher Gall (South Bank Tour), Matisse to Freud
2007 Jan-Mar, Leicester, New Walk (South Bank Tour), Matisse/Freud
2007 Mar-May, Harewood Hse (South Bank Tour), Matisse to Freud
2007 Jul-Sep, Gateshead, Shipley AG (South Bank Tour), Matisse/Freud
2020, 14 Jan - 5 March, London, BM, G90a, Living with Art: Picasso to Celmins (The Alexander Walker collection)
2020 11-24 Dec, Banbridge, F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Living with Art
2021 10 May – 7 Jun, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Living with Art
2021 24 Jul – 2 Oct, Doncaster, Danum Gallery, Library and Museum, Living with Art
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased by Alexander Walker from the Alan Cristea Gallery, London on 27/6/97 for £7,402.50.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number