In 1994, when Gego died, we received the bequest of her oeuvre and the responsibility of conserving it. That was how Fundación Gego was born, a family initiative in which Gego’s children and grandchildren took turns to preserve such a valuable legacy. Never at that time did the founders imagine the scope of the task on which we were starting out almost blindly. We were very lucky in having the support of enthusiastic friends of Gego –whose affection was also part of the legacy we inherited from the artist- who offered their assistance and advice; especially Miguel Arroyo , museum specialist and teacher, whose knowledge guided us in our first exhibition, Gego: dibujos, grabados, tejeduras in 1996. In the process of that exhibition we felt the need to form a team of professionals to support us who would be involved in the goals we had set for ourselves: the registry and classifications of the works, their conservation and subsequent study. Thus strengthened, that same year we took on the enormous challenge of taking Gego beyond our borders guided by art critic Roberto Guevara . We could say that Gego’s presence at the XXIII International Biennale of Sao Paulo was a milestone in the story of Gego’s trajectory and in our own story, since it was a fundamental platform for the internationalization of the artist’s oeuvre.
From its first years on, Fundación Gego –depending on the available resources- starteset out on the task oflocalization, registry and conservation of works, consultancy for researchers, collectors and museums . In this way we were able to undertake what we consider the rediscovery and consolidation of Gego’s contribution to our country –and then to the world- with the exhibition Gego, 1955-1990 in the year 2000, which was a joint venture between Fundación Gego and the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas . Its curator, Iris Peruga, produced the most complete study of Gego which had been made so far and this allowed new generations of a wide and diverse public to get to know her. The book Gego. Obra Completa. 1955-1990 and the documentary film Diez minutos con Gego, two products of the process of this exhibition, continue being a mandatory reference for those who study her work.
The repercussion of our activities brought new demands. Both national and international commitments forced us to diversify our activities even more and to diversify our organizational platform. Our team grew. We constituted a computerized data base which holds the information of our collections: the registry and classification of works, audiovisual material and documents . All this made it easier to take on more complex challenges. Thus, in 2002, we were able to take the exhibition Gego. 1955-1990. Una selección to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with the support of curator Mari Carmen Ramírez, and in 2005 we were able to publish our first book: Sabiduras y otros textos de Gego . We were also able to strengthen Gego’s international presence, specifically in Europe, with the exhibition Desafiando Estructuras, which was shown between 2006 and 2007 at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain, and at the Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal.
Under the auspices of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Fundación Gego, the Fondo para el Arte del Caribe is created in 2010. This marked the beginning of the expansion of the collection of Latin American art at MFAH, as it incorporated the works of emerging artists born, from the fifties on, in Colombia, Venezuela, the Caribbean islands and Central America.
GEGO. 100 YEARS
Fundación GEGO, together with other national and foreign cultural institutions, commemorated GEGO’s 100th birthday during 2012, 2013 and 2014 with a large program of activities such as exhibitions, presentation of books, conferences, poetry recitation and workshops for children and adults. To mention only a few, the exhibition Gego. Line as Object, was shown in Hamburger Kunsthalle (Nov. 2013) and traveled to Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and The Henry Moore Institute (2014). Within the framework of this exhibition, the documentary film Gego was produced, directed by the French-German filmmaker Nathalie David. The bilingual book “Desenredando la red. Antología de respuestas críticas. La Reticulárea de Gego” , compiled by María Elena Huizi, Ester Crespin, Mari Carmen Ramírez and Melina Kervadijan, was published by MFAH and FG.
In 2015 FG celebrated its 20th anniversary . After some sixty exhibitions –between those we have produced and those in which we have collaborated- we can say that Fundación Gego has achieved the consolidation of an institutional model and operational patterns which foster and strengthen its mission. Its goals are the same that were originally defined at the time of its creation and which are expressed in its statutes. The registry of the collection and its improvement, as well as the research, gathering and organization of all the documental information about Gego’s oeuvre is the backbone of FG’s work. This is where the mission of custody, conservation, study and promotion of this valuable legacy which Gego left us, her family, our country and the whole world is born.