According to Naum Gabo, the three-dimensional construction
that has flanked De Bijenkorf department store since 1957 was an
‘ideological contribution to Constructivism’. This is related to the
level of integration between the sculpture and the architecture, the
transparency of the space defined by the sculpture and the impression of
weightlessness in a sculpture of this format and weight (approximately
The work dates from a period in which Gabo’s early abstract-geometric
constructions had made way for more organic constructions. Gabo
explained to the art historian Herbert Read that the sculpture was
inspired by organic structures found in plants (Herbert Read, Gabo, Rotterdam 1958, unpaginated). The gradual changes in direction within the sculpture suggest movement.
Gabo saw the sculpture’s base as the roots that anchor the organism firmly in the ground. The two blocks of concrete, clad with black marble, form the equivalent of a trunk from which emerge eight metal branches that meet at the top. The darker finer core represents the foliage.
In accordance with the principles of Constructivism, the sculpture occupies the maximum area with the minimum mass.
|nicknames||Stylized flower, the thing, train accident|
|location since||1957, Coolsingel, Centrumruit, City Centre|
|dimensions sculpture (hxwxl) in cm||2600 x 450 x 540|
|material||Object: Steel profile, tubes and wire mesh|