Construction in the Third and Fourth Dimension

Courtyard of Jadwin Hall
Antoine Pevsner
French, born in Russia, 1886-1962

Construction in the Third and Fourth Dimension is one of the last major works of Antoine Pevsner, elder brother of Naum Gabo and collaborator with him in the creation of the Constructivist movement upon their return to Russia during the early 1920s. While studying painting at the academies of Kiev and St. Petersburg, Pevsner first became absorbed with concepts of space employed in the icons of churches and monasteries in Novgorod, and subsequently he was attracted by the Impressionist and early School of Paris paintings. Arriving in the French capital in 1911 during the heyday of Cubist invention, he was impressed by the engineering magic of the Eiffel Tower.

One major direction in Pevsner's sculpture exploited the contortion of flat metal planes, theoretically capable of indefinite projection. Linear striations on the surface of the planes allow for the enjoyment of both spatial and temporal experiences simultaneously, while suggesting the possibility of infinite continuity.

The Putnam Collection Pevsner, with its handsome black granite pedestal designed by the sculptor, serves additionally as a memorial to the Danish scientist and humanist Niels Bohr (1885-1962), who had longstanding personal and professional ties with colleagues in the Department of Physics at Princeton. A quotation from Bohr's 1950 letter to the United Nations, enunciating the policy of Open World, flanks the paving stones at the base of the sculpture.

Height: 10 feet 3 inches
Executed in 1962; installed in 1972
Number 3 of an edition of 4 cast in 1971
Inscribed on one wing:
Pevsner 3/3

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Text based on
Living with Modern Sculpture
by Patrick J. Kelleher.

Concept developed by Mary Jane Lydenberg, Annual Giving
Illustrations by Heather Lovett
Edited by Laurel Masten Cantor

Published by the Office of
Communications/Publications, Stanhope Hall
through special arrangement with
the Princeton Art Museum

All rights reserved
Copyright (c) 1982 by
the trustees of Princeton University