Gego was born in 1912 in the harbour city of Hamburg. The family abandoned their home on Heilwigstrasse 40 because of the nazi threat. Her parents and siblings were forced to emigrate. Gego was the last one to leave; she locked the door and threw the key into the Alster river.
At the end of November Hamburg already displays the lights of the Christmas markets surrounding the bay. We walked to the museum to attend the opening of the exhibition. The Hamburger Kunsthalle received us with an enormous billboard featuring an image of Gego, open arms lifted to the skies, which covered the facade.
Simultaneously, the museum presented the work of Eva Hesse, also a Hamburg-born artist, well known for her work developed in the United States.
When entering the museum there were posters and signs inviting to the exhibition. We entered the halls and recognized the works. We have seen them many times and the emotion we feel gets stronger every time.
The press conference started; journalists, writers, art bloggers, critics and next of kin listened to the curators of the exhibition:
“Her delicate objects, structured like rhizomes of metal and wire, defied the traditional definition of sculpture as a closed mass and volume. Gego also pursued transparency and lightness in her numerous works on paper where she employed lines as objects. Her innovative and experimental approach to sculpture and to “drawings in space” had an important influence on subsequent generations of artists in Latin America, leaving her imprint on contemporary art beyond Venezuela.”
Gego’s relatives and friends visited her former house. The deputy mayoress of Hamburg, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, unveiled a plaque on the wall surrounding the front garden which reads:
In this house lived
GERTRUD GOLDSCHMIDT DEHN
Known as Gego
From August 1st 1912 until 1939
The artist Gertrud Goldschmidt Dehn, known as GEGO, was born on August 1st, 1912, sixth child of the Jewish family Goldschmidt. In 1932 she started her studies of Architecture at the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart. Because of the constant menace of the national socialists, Gego emigrated via England to Venezuela, where she started to work as an artist. Her great web-like installations were not conceived as sculptures but as drawings in space. On September 17th, 1994 Gego died in Caracas at the age of 82. Nowadays Gego is one of the most renowned artists of South America.