October 2018. Gego at Foundation Cartier in Paris

A selection of 22 three-dimensional works: reticuláreas, streams, spheres and trunks of Gego are exhibited for the first time in Paris as part of the exhibition Southern Geometries, from Mexico to Patagonia. Organized by the Foundation Cartier pour lart contemporain, the exhibition brings together the works of 70 Latin American artists, from pre-Columbian to contemporary times. The exhibition will be open to the public from October 14, 2018 to February 24, 2019

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www.fondationcartier.com

May 2016. Autobiography of a Line. Dominique Lévy Gallery. London.

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.

October 2015. Gego in Dominique Lévy Gallery. New York.

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 It also includes the unpublished poem “Gego”, written by the poet and visual artist Anne Tardos.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.

July 2014. GEGO IN LEEDS. THREE-DIMENSIONAL AND TRANSPARENT.

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.

MARCH 2014. GEGO’S LINE IN STUTTGART

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart rises in the center of the city since 2005: a cubic concrete structure which hosts an important collection of German and international artists. From March 29 to June 29 it hosted the exhibition Gego. Line as object.

 

Gego spent her student years in Stuttgart (1932-1938), where she studied and graduated as an engineer with a specialization in architecture at the Technische Hochschule (nowadays part of the University of Stuttgart). In 1939 she emigrated to Venezuela, where she worked as a teacher and developed her plastic work.

 

We had the opportunity of visiting the documentary center of the university, where we were welcomed by its director, Dr. Norbert Becker, who showed us a series of documents referring to Gego’s academic record at the university. He showed us her registration form and explained that the yellow color referred to her condition as a Jew and the diagonal red strip across it meant that she was a female student. He also showed us images of the building destroyed during WWII.

 

In her text in the catalogue of the exhibition, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart curator Eva Marina Froitzheim mentions that the artist “makes use of her knowledge of Mathematics and her training as an architect to develop her geometric forms, exploring the physical conditions of concrete space in graphic work as well as in sculpture.”

 

The text of the museum’s website signals that Gego centers mainly on the line as a means of expression, and her work explores the creative relationship between space and the line. It also says that for five decades she worked on the idea of converting the line into an object as she used it to create planes, volumes and structures of extended nets.

 

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart conceived this project to present it simultaneously with Luisa Richter’s exhibition, also a German-born Venezuelan artist.

JUNE 2014. “LISTONADOS” BY GERD LEUFERT. Sala TAC

This exhibition was presented under the curatorship of Ruth Auerbach. In its preparation she had to uncover pieces which were treasured in private collections and search in archives and memoirs of people who were close to the artist. Thus she achieved to complete a sample of 43 works which support the artist’s argumentation on the void square as a subject of research which led him to the creation of these singular pieces called “Listonados”. Aixa Díaz designed a catalogue with text by Ruth Auerbach for the occasion.

NOVEMBER 2013. HAMBURG. HOMECOMING.

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.

GEGO. LINE AS OBJECT. Hamburg, Stuttgart, Leeds.

During 2013-2014 Gego’s oeuvre was shown for the first time in an individual exhibition in Germany and England. A large variety of pieces, inks and watercolors, engravings, weavings, drawings without paper and three-dimensional works of small and monumental format were exhibited in a carefully curated exhibition of Gego’s artistic trajectory.

 

The exhibition Gego: Line as object was the result of the joint effort of three great museums: Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, England. The curators, Brigitte Kolle and Petra Roettig, Eva Marina Froitzheim and Lisa Lefevbre respectively, designed this project with the support of Fundación Gego in Caracas. It started out on November 29th in Hamburg, continued in March in Stuttgart and ended in October 2014 in Leeds.

MAY 2013. TEJEDURAS, BICHITOS Y LIBROS

Fundación Telefónica, Fundación Gego and Periférico Centro de Arte Contemporáneo presented this exhibition which, under the curatorship of Felix Suazo, was drawn from the works in custody at Fundación Gego and some private collections. It showed works from the initial and final periods of Gego’s artistic trajectory. The largest group within the exhibition included a selection of Tejeduras (Weavings) and Bichitos (Little beasts) dated 1987 to 1992 which had been exhibited at the 30th Sao Paulo Biennale in 2012 under the curatorship of Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas. Some Libros (Books) of engravings in lithography, etching and intaglio made between 1961 and 1967 were also exhibited.

 

Tejeduras, Bichitos and Libros are three clearly defined groups of works from the plastic, conceptual and temporal points of view. They are brought together by the central core of the line, either alone or multiplied, printed or three-dimensional, but always as a substantial and structural element, dependent neither on form nor on volume. These qualities, together with the austerity in the composition of the works and the modest delicacy of the materials used, propose a dialogue between geometry and two- as well as three-dimensional space.