In 1922 the First Russian Art Exhibition was presented in the gallery’s space not far from the Russian embassy on Unter den Linden. The show provided an overview of Russian art from 1905 onwards.
Sculptor Naum Gabo was in charge of the three rooms where Russian avant-garde art was presented, including several of his own sculptures. It was these rooms that made the exhibition famous.
Today Gabo’s sculpture Constructed Torso (visible on the base on the left side of the photo) is one of the major works in the permanent exhibition of the Berlinische Galerie.
Naum Gabo (1890–1977) moved to Berlin in 1922 to help organize the First Russian Art Exhibition on behalf of the People’s Commissariat for Education.
The exhibition also showed works by other Jewish artists, though none with a Jewish theme. These works reflected the idea that abstract art was universal in nature and embodied the principles of a new society.
During his Berlin years, Gabo developed a new conception of sculpture and eventually created his “Torsions”—the rounded, curved, wire-connected forms for which he was later famous. His most important project was the competition design for the Palace of the Soviets in Moscow, which was never built.
Gabo emigrated to Paris in 1932 after his studio was raided by a gang of Nazi henchmen.