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Antoine Pevsner

/Works and biography

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Anchored Cross (La Croix ancrée), 1933
Marble, brass painted black, and crystal,
84.6 cm long diagonally
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553 PG 60
© Antoine Pevsner, by SIAE 2008


In 1920 Antoine Pevsner signed the Realistic Manifesto drafted by his brother Naum Gabo, proclaiming the intention of Constructivism. They believed that space was given form through implications of depth rather than volume, and they rejected mass as the basic sculptural element. Line, rendered dynamic through directionality, established kinetic rhythms. The Constructivists advocated the use of contemporary industrial materials; they did not carve or model these materials according to sculptural conventions, but constructed them according to principles of modern technology. In this work Pevsner complicates the delineation of space by using a transparent substance in conjunction with opaque materials. The glass panes echo both the rounded excised outlines of the construction and its angular metal surfaces. The metal ribs anchor the panes of glass and hinge all planes, real and imagined, resulting in a complex structuring of space. Furthermore, they function visually as an Orthodox cross, one of the icons of Pevsner’s native Russia.

credits: Hangar Design Group