MUSEO JUMEX PRESENTS GEGO: MEASURING INFINITY, ACCLAIMED RETROSPECTIVE OF THE WORK OF GERTRUD GOLDSCHMIDT, A LEADING LATIN AMERICAN ARTIST
19.OCT.2022 – 05.FEB.2023
Mexico City, October 18, 2022 — Museo Jumex presents the acclaimed exhibition,
Gego: Measuring Infinity, a retrospective devoted to the work of Gego (Gertrud
Goldschmidt, Hamburg, 1912 – Caracas, 1994), one of the most important postwar
avant-garde artists in Latin America. On view from October 19, 2022 through February
5, 2023, the exhibition highlights Gego’s organic forms, linear structures, and systematic
investigations, charting her evolution and distinctive approach to abstraction.
Trained as an architect and engineer at the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart, Gego
fled Nazi persecution in 1939 and immigrated to Venezuela, where she remained for
the rest of her life. To this day, Gego is internationally recognized as one of the leading
figures of artistic movements emerging throughout the latter half of the twentieth century,
including Geometric Abstraction and Kinetic Art. Her works are distinct for their
net-like structures that the artist intentionally differentiated from solid sculptural forms.
Gego: Measuring Infinity is installed chronologically in the museum’s second-floor
gallery and includes more than 120 works created from the early 1950s through the
early 1990s, encompassing every period in the artist’s evolution. The exhibition highlights
her artistic production across disciplines through different yet interrelated fields:
architecture, design, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, fabric, site-specific installations,
spatial interventions, public art, as well as her pedagogy. The central display brings
together 18 pieces from her most well-known series, among them the hung wire sculptures
she titled Chorros (Waterfalls), Troncos (Trunks), and Esferas (Spheres), in relation
to the forms from nature they resemble. Their arrangement allows the public to view
the pieces from different angles and positions, a distinct requirement for Gego’s work.
Highlighting her drawing and printmaking practice in dialogue with her acclaimed
three-dimensional series, the exhibition also includes examples from her earliest
artistic explorations. On view is a significant selection of drawings and prints that
investigate the effect of parallel lines and the spaces between them, watercolors and
drawings that elaborate certain motifs, and a selection of her last body of work, the
paper Tejeduras (Weavings).
A series of 27 Dibujos sin papel (Drawings without Paper) is shown installed at different
heights, mimicking a gesture that Gego used in her 1984 exhibition at the Museo de
Bellas Artes of Caracas. These works exemplify Gego’s refusal of the traditional division
of artistic genres since they are simultaneously three-dimensional sculptures as well
as playful drawings. Her use of unexpected materials such as everyday hardware and
remains of earlier pieces introduced a new direction in her work, which would continue
through later series, such as the Bichos (Bugs).
Representing every series in the artist’s prolific and diverse production, the exhibition
includes loans from Fundación Gego along with selected works from institutions and
private collections in Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco,
as well as Caracas and Barcelona.
Gego: Measuring Infinity is organized by Museo Jumex, Mexico City; the Solomon
R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis
The exhibition was developed by Julieta González, Artistic Director, Instituto Inhotim,
Brumadinho, Brazil; Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Associate Curator, Guggenheim
Museum Bilbao, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York;
Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, Solomon R. Guggenheim
Museum and Foundation, New York, and former Adjunct Curator of Latin American
Art, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand—MASP; in collaboration
with Tanya Barson, former Chief Curator, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona;
and Michael Wellen, Senior Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, London.
Coordinated at Museo Jumex by Cindy Peña, Curatorial Assistant.
Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt) was born in 1912 to a liberal Jewish banking family in
Hamburg, Germany. She studied under Paul Bonatz at the University of Stuttgart,
where she graduated with an architecture and engineering degree in 1938. She
was forced to leave Germany shortly after finishing her degree and immigrated to
Venezuela in 1939. There, she worked as a freelance architect and operated her own
furniture workshop. She became a Venezuelan citizen in 1952 and lived there for the
remainder of her life.
In 1953, Gego began to develop her artistic practice full-time. Encouraged by the
support of Alejandro Otero and Jesús Rafael Soto, she began to create three-dimensional
works in 1956. Soon after, Gego participated in the exhibition Arte abstracto
en Venezuela in 1957 and by 1959 the Museum of Modern Art in New York had begun
acquiring her work. She made several extended visits to the United States for residencies
and exhibitions until 1967. In New York, Gego attended the Pratt Institute,
where she took engraving and printmaking classes. She also worked in the Tamarind
Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. For most of her career, Gego worked in her
home studio in Caracas, creating a prolific and varied oeuvre consisting of sculptures
and works on paper. She died in Caracas in 1994.
Her many solo exhibitions include Questioning the Line: Gego, A Selection, 1955–
90, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2002), and Museo Tamayo (2003); Gego:
Between Transparency and the Invisible, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2005)
and The Drawing Center, New York (2007); Gego: Defying Structures, Museu de Arte
Contemporánea de Serralves, Porto (2006) and MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani
de Barcelona (2007); Gego: Line as Object, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstmuseum
Stuttgart and Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2013); and Gego: The Architecture
of an Artist, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2022). Her work is in the collections of The
Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museo de
Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas; New York Public
Library, New York; Tate Modern, London; and MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de
Barcelona; among others.
Museo Jumex, Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo’s main platform, opened its
doors to the public in November 2013 as an institution devoted to contemporary art.
Its aim is not only to serve a broad and diverse public, but also to be a laboratory for
experimentation and innovation in the arts. Through its exhibitions, publications, research,
and public programs, Museo Jumex familiarizes audiences with the concepts
and contexts that inform current art practice. Through the use of critical and pedagogical
tools, the museum’s educational programs further the institution’s commitment
to build links between contemporary art and the public.
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