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Print - Opus 6

Opus 6

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    USA (made)

  • Date:

    1955-1956 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gabo, Naum, born 1890 - died 1977 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood engraving and monotype, printed in blue on Japanese paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case MP, shelf 236

The Russian-born artist Naum Gabo (1890-1977) was a Constructivist sculptor, but his sculptures have a very linear quality, often composed of transparent glass and plastic with metal strips and nylon thread. Despite basic differences of intention between his printmaking and his sculpture, there are similarities too, in the use of curvilinear forms that appear to float in space. It is possible that Gabo may have used small pieces of plastic, cut for a model of a sculpture for the US Rubber Company Building, New York, 1956, as templates for this print. He never editioned his prints; there are 31 known impressions of Opus 6. He preferred to print his relief blocks by hand rather than on a press, thus encouraging accidental effects of tone and texture to occur.

Physical description

Wood engraving and montype printed in blue on Japanese paper. Abstract linear pattern of two intersecting swirling loops around a central oval loop.

Place of Origin

USA (made)


1955-1956 (printed)


Gabo, Naum, born 1890 - died 1977 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Wood engraving and monotype, printed in blue on Japanese paper

Marks and inscriptions

Gabo Op 6
Signature and title; pencil


Height: 38.5 cm printed surface, Width: 33.3 cm printed surface, Height: 48 cm sheet, Width: 39.5 cm sheet

Descriptive line

Print by Naum Gabo, 'Opus 6', wood engraving and monotype printed in blue, USA, 1955-56

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings Accession Register for 1990
pp. 15-21 and pp. 58-59
Williams, Graham ed. Naum Gabo: monoprints from engraved wood blocks and stencils. Biddenden, Kent: Florin Press for Kettle's Yard; Edinburgh: Cambridge & Talbot Rice Gallery, 1987. ISBN: 0906715156.
cat. no. 69
Nash, Steven A. and Jörn Merkert. Naum Gabo : sixty years of constructivism. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1985.

Production Note

Attribution note: Gabo did not edition his prints. There are 31 known impression for 0pus 6 but each slightly different from the rest, due to hand printing which gives rise to accidental effects.


Japanese paper; Printing ink


Wood engraving; Monotype

Subjects depicted





Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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