Antoine Pevsner

Art on This Day
 
On this day in 1884, Antoine Pevsner was born. He was a Russian-born sculptor and the older brother of Alexii Pevsner and Naum Gabo. Both Antoine and Naum are considered pioneers of twentieth-century sculpture. Among the originators of and having coined the term, Constructivism, and pioneers of Kinetic Art, they discovered a new use for metals and welding and made a new connection between art and mathematics. Pevsner said: "Art must be inspiration controlled by mathematics. I have a need for peace, symphony, orchestration."
 
In 1923 Pevsner left Russia and settled in Paris, where he began to produce abstract sculpture in the Constructivist mode that Gabo had outlined in his manifesto of 1920. In his early sculptures, like Gabo, he used zinc, brass, copper, celluloid, and wood, but in the 1930s Pevsner developed a unique approach that relied on parallel arrays of bronze wire soldered together to form plates. He then joined these plates to create intricate and convoluted shapes using both straight and curved lines. Pevsner became a French citizen in 1930, and he was co-founder in 1946 of Réalités Nouvelles, a Paris-based group of exhibiting artists who favoured geometric abstraction.
 
Pevsner succeeded in infusing the somewhat impersonal style of Constructivism with his own feeling for form. In 1956–57 he was honoured with a retrospective exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, and in 1961 he was awarded the Legion of Honour.