We are pleased to present the fourth installment of the cycle of interviews, Conversaciones FG, produced by Fundación Gego and 2382, under the direction of Montenegro & Lafont. This time Tahía Rivero, Curator of the Mercantil Collection, reflects on the presence of Gego’s oeuvre in one of the most important collections of Venezuelan art.
REFLECTIONS ABOUT ART FROM GEGO’S OEUVRE
Conversations FG is the title of a series of short documentaries which are being transmitted through the social media. It is a set of 17 interviews with different people from the national and international artistic scene which will be presente done by one in the following months. Each of the interviewees offers his/her thoughts about present day art with Gego’s oeuvre , her history, validity and transcendence as starting point.
This idea arose as a way of commemorating Fundación Gego’s 20th anniversary.
To carry out this Project we relied on the experience and expertise of the director of Montenegro & Lafont, with whom FG had already shared two successful experiences: Anudamientos (2004) and an antological documentary, Gego Reticulárea, in the context of Gego’s centennial (2012).
After serious conversations, Fundación and the director chose a group of people related to the artistic world through different áreas such as photography, museum management, collectionism, art registry, and marketing, among others. We think that each testimony could be of great value to construct a documentary piece to contribute to the knowledge of Gego’s oeuvre and to the effort of conservation and promotion developed by FG in these 20 years of existence.
The interviews were made through different media; some in person, others by Skype and even by phone, trying to incorporate the real and everyday circumstances of our times: geographical distance and available resources as an additional element in the series of audiovisuals.
This project, which we started very modestly, became a corpus of valuable documentary material, so we decided to share it in the form of a series of installments.
Presented by Fundación Gego
Directed by Montenegro & Lafont
Produced by dostresochodos y Fundación Gego
LINKS TO WATCH THE MICRO DOCUMENTARIES
The exhibition “Gego: Autobiography of a Line” opened on May 25th in Dominique Lévy Gallery in London. This was the second of a pair of exhibitions celebrating the legacy of the German-born Venezuelan artista Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt) [1912 – 1994]. Organized in collaboration with Fundación Gego, this is the first individual exhibition of the artist in London. It includes a selection of her work, and in particular, three monumental sculptures made in the 70s, which incarnate the palpable sensation of geometry and the spatial play which characterizes Gego’s work. There is also a selection of drawings in ink on paper and later works which explicit the relation between drawing and sculpture, such as Dibujos sin papel (Drawings without paper), Watercolors and Weavings. The exhibition includes loans from the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) and Fundación Gego. The exhibition closed on August 19th, 2016.
Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016, an exhibition made in the recently opened building of Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel gallery in Los Angeles, brought together the works of 34 women artists, among whom Gego was included. http://www.hauserwirthschimmel.com/exhibitions/past
The perstigious Dominique Lévy Gallery in New York presented the public with a selection of works by GEGO, curated by Jesús Fuenmayor and Sandra Antelo-Suárez.
A special publication was edited for the occasion, with texts by the curators and critics of Latin American art Sandra Antelo-Suárez and Jesús Fuenmayor and by Chus Martínez, director of the Institute of Art of the Academy of Arts and Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst) in Basel, Switzerland, and Kaira Cabañas, art critic and historian. It also includes the unpublished poem “Gego”, written by the poet and visual artist Anne Tardos.
The exhibition showed some 70 works belonging to public and private collections, lent for the occasion. It is important to point out the series Chorros (Streams), belonging to the Fundación de Museos Nacionales – Museum of Barquisimeto, which was exhibited together with other pieces from the same series in an assembly which reminded of the installation made in 1971 by the artist herself at the Betty Parson Gallery in New York. The Chorros are a series of structures made of metal rods made by Gego in 1970-71 which hang vertically from the ceiling to the ground resembling waterfalls. Pieces from other series, such as Drawings without paper, Inks, Weavings and Bichitos (Little Beasts), were also shown, coming from other prestigious collections such as Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Mercantil Collection, Cisneros- Fontanals, Fundación Gego and other private collectors.
The exhibition was researched and curated by Carmen Alicia Di Pasquale, who refers to the artist in the following terms: “Leufert presents himself, more tan as an eclectic artista or a designer with artistic ambitions, as a visual thinker, someone who reflecte don his time and his life as an emigrant, from and with the image, even if this does not translate into a realistic or social discourse, but rather into the research of essential and not necessarily evident structures and forms.”
“Mundo Nenia. Gerd Leufert 1914-2014” is the result of a process of research which included, as part of the simple, all the nenias that had been published by their creator in print and events as well as those not published by him, which in turn belong to the group of those provided by designer Álvaro Sotillo from the maquette of an unpublished book and those found in the Gerd Leufert archive.
An installation conceived by Álvaro Sotillo, with 8 unpublished nenias cut out in baquelite as well as 12 photographs belonging to the series “Las Nenias de Gerd Leufert” by Ricardo Armas, was exhibited in Building 6 of Oficina #1.
In Building 9 “Archivo Nenia 2015. Una reconstrucción” was exhibited. This was made up of 162 figures drawn on digital platform under the direction of Gabriela Fontanillas and then cut out in vinyl on mdf and melamine support and marked with a corpus of some two thousand referential data.
Gerd Leufert used the name “Nenias” to identify a series of figures he started to develop as a theme in the early sixties. The conventional meaning of the term comes from music, where it refers to certain very old songs or lamentations which belonged to funerary rites. This remains as a trace of the deeply enigmatic carácter of Leufert’s visual creations.
The exhibition provided the framework for a series of encounters, conversations, concert and poetry.
The Henry Moore Institute, in the British city of Leeds, is well known as a center dedicated to the study, documentary archive and exhibition of sculpture. It is part of the Henry Moore Foundation, created in 1977 by the great British sculptor.
Gego’s exhibition made its third and last stop in the HMI. Its director, Lisa Lefevbre, one of the curators of the exhibition, explained her special interest in Gego’s oeuvre.
This show underlined Gego’s visionary approach to sculpture, a term she herself refused to use for her work. In one of her testimonies the artist expressed: “Sculpture, three-dimensional forms of solid material. Never what I make.”
The selection of works for this exhibition covered the artist’s creation of 34 years, from 1957 when she started developing her thoughts on sculpture with the work Vibración en negro (Vibration in black). In Lisa Lefevbre’s words, this torso of continuous form in black painted aluminum hanging from the ceiling softly responds to the air’s movement and distributes its volume through its shadows. The last works are dated 1991, when Gego concentrated on her Tejeduras (Weavings), interwoven paper strips which combine reproductions of her own works with pages from magazines and cigarette pack strips, and on Bichitos (Little beasts), small format assemblies made from materials available in her immediate surroundings. Between those two points in time Gego created large-scale nets, columns and spheres which filled the galleries, drawings without paper as well as watercolors, drawings in ink and engravings.