Gabo grew up in a Jewish family of six children in the provincial Russian town of Bryansk, where his father owned a factory. His older brother was fellow Constructivist artist Antoine Pevsner; Gabo changed his name to avoid confusion with him. Gabo was a fluent speaker and writer in German, French, and English in addition to his native Russian. His command of several languages contributed greatly to his mobility during his career. “As in thought, so in feeling, a vague communication is no communication at all," Gabo once remarked.
After school in Kursk, Gabo entered Munich University in 1910, first studying medicine, then the natural sciences, and attended art history lectures by Heinrich Wölfflin. In 1912 Gabo transferred to an engineering school in Munich where he discovered abstract art and met Wassily Kandinsky and in 1913-14 joined his brother Antoine (who by then was an established painter) in Paris. Gabo's engineering training was key to the development of his sculptural work that often used machined elements. During this time he won acclamations by many critics and awards like the $1000 Mr and Mrs Frank G. Logan Art Institute Prize at the annual Chicago and Vicinity exhibition of 1954.
Gabo contributed to the Agit-prop open air exhibitions and taught at 'VKhUTEMAS' the Higher Art and Technical Workshop, with Tatlin, Kandinsky and Rodchenko. During this period the reliefs and construction became more geometric and Gabo began to experiment with kinetic sculpture though the majority of the work was lost or destroyed. Gabo's designs had become increasingly monumental but there was little opportunity to apply them; as he commented, "It was the height of civil war, hunger and disorder in Russia. To find any part of machinery … was next to impossible". Gabo wrote and issued jointly with Antoine Pevsner in August 1920 a "Realistic Manifesto" proclaiming the tenets of pure Constructivism – the first time that the term was used. In the manifesto Gabo criticized Cubism and Futurism as not becoming fully abstract arts and stated that the spiritual experience was the root of artistic production. Gabo and Pevsner promoted the manifesto by staging an exhibition on a bandstand on Tverskoy Boulevard in Moscow and posted the manifesto on hoardings around the city.
In 1946 Gabo and his wife and daughter emigrated to the United States, where they resided first in Woodbury, and later in Middlebury, Connecticut. Gabo died in Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1977.
Gabo’s vision is imaginative and passionate. Over the years his exhibitions have generated immense enthusiasm because of the emotional power present in his sculpture. Gabo described himself as "making images to communicate my feelings of the world." In his work, Gabo used time and space as construction elements and in them solid matter unfolds and becomes beautifully surreal and otherworldly. His sculptures initiate a connection between what is tangible and intangible, between what is simplistic in its reality and the unlimited possibilities of intuitive imagination. Imaginative as Gabo was, his practicality lent itself to the conception and production of his works. He devised systems of construction which were not only used for his elegantly elaborate sculptures but were viable for architecture as well. He was also innovative in his works, using a wide variety of materials including the earliest plastics, fishing line, bronze, sheets of Perspex, and boulders. He sometimes even used motors to move the sculpture.Wikipedia