Born in Russia, Gabo was one of the pioneers of abstract and mobile (kinetic) sculpture. He rejected the idea that sculpture was simply about solid, static masses in space created by carving or modelling. In his statement, 'The Philosophy of Constructivist Art' in 1948, he insisted that sculpture could move, and be fabricated from any material including new transparent plastics where the form was made visible by light.
He was a friend of Ben Nicholson who shared many of his ideas, and settled in St. Ives as a refugee during the war. His influence on the progress of abstract painting and sculpture in Britain was immense.