Biography

GEGO (Gertrude Luise Goldschmidt)  (1912-1994, Germany - Venezuela)

“Art is firmly rooted in spiritual values. The creator is involved in a continuous process of discovery—not of himself, but of the roots of the universe which he has been able to discover within himself.”

As a young woman, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt) worked as a draftsman in several architecture firms, painting workshops, and carpentry shops in her native Germany while completing a degree in architecture from the University of Stuttgart in 1938. To escape the increasing anti-Semitism in her home country, she emigrated to Venezuela in 1939, where she worked as a freelance architect and industrial designer until the mid-1940s. In 1953, she moved to the coastal town of Tarma and began her artistic work, producing drawings, watercolors, monotypes and xylographs; the majority of these early works were figurative and expressionist. She returned to Caracas in 1956, and there, using pure abstraction as her starting point, she began to address problems of sculptural space in her work; in 1957, along with artists Carlos Cruz-Diez, Alejandro Otero, and Jesús-Rafael Soto, Gego participated in the exhibition Arte abstracto en Venezuela. By 1959, the Museum of Modern Art in New York had begun to acquire her work; she moved to New York in 1960 and remained in the United States until 1967.

Gego taught at the school of architecture of the Universidad Central de Venezuela and at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Cristóbal Rojas. Her first individual show was held at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas in 1961; in 1962 she installed a sculpture at the headquarters of the Banco Industrial de Venezuela. She helped found the Instituto de Diseño Neumann in Caracas where she taught from 1964 to 1977. In 1969, with Gerd Leufert, she completed murals for the headquarters of the Instituto Nacional de Cooperación Educativa (INCE). From the 1970s to the 1980s she completed important, architecturally integrated sculpture for public buildings, residences, and shopping malls. In 1972, for example, she constructed Cuerdas (Cords), a sculpture-installation consisting of suspended nylon and stainless steel strips, for the Parque Central architectonic complex in Caracas.

Gego eventually began to use random procedures and “poor” materials such as industrial scraps and metals. Her series of suspended sculptures Dibujos sin papel (Drawings without Paper) and her series Bichos (Creatures) also date from the 1980s, as does her Reticulárea ambiental. Her last, extremely significant work was Tejeduras (Weavings), in which small fields of orthogonal lines were interwoven with strips of paper.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2017

Between the lines: Gego as Printmaker, Amon Carter museum, Fort Worth, TX, USA

2016

Gego: Autobiography of a Line, Dominique Levy Gallery. London, England

2015

Gego: Autobiography of a Line, Dominique Levy Gallery, New York, NY, USA

2014

Gego: La poetique de la Ligne, Colección Mercantil, La Maison de la Amerique Latine, Paris, France

 

Gego: Line as Object, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany 

 

Gego: Line as Object, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK

2013

Gego: El trazo transparente, Museo de la Estampa y el Diseño Carlos Cruz-Diez, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Gego: Tejeduras, Bichitos y Libros, Periférico de Caracas / Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas, Venezuela; Centro de Arte Los Galpones, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Gego: Line as Object, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg

2012

Gego: Origin and EncounterMastering the Space, The Americas Society, New York, NY, USA

 

Gego: Construcciones Tangents, Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Gego, Obra Abierta. Testimonios y Vigencia, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela

 

Gego: Procedencia y Encuentro, Sala Mendoza, Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, Venezuela

2008

Gego: Estructuras diluídas, Museo de Barquisimeto, Barquisimeto, Venezuela

 

Gego: Prints & Drawings 1963-1991, Federico Sève Gallery, New York, NY, USA

2006

Gego arquitecto, Trasnocho Arte Contacto, Sala TAC, Caracas, Venezuela; Centro de Arte de Maracaibo Lía Bermúdez, Maracaibo, Venezuela; Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela; Galería Universitaria Braulio Salazar, UCV, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Gego: Defying Structures, Museu de Arte Contemporánea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain

2005

Gego: Between Transparency and the Invisible, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA; Colección Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia; The Drawing Center, New York, NY, USA

2004

Gego: Anudamientos, Sala Mendoza, Caracas, Venezuela

2003  

Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA

2002

Gego: Works on Paper 1962-1991, Latin Collector Art Center, New York, NY, USA

 

Questioning the Line: Gego, A Selection, 1955-1990, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Monterrey, Mexico; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico

2000

Gego 1955-1990, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela

1996

Gego, Drawings, Engravings, Weavings, Centro Cultural Consolidado, Caracas, Venezuela

1994

Gego, A Look at Her Work, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela

1990

Weavings, Galería Sotavento, Caracas, Venezuela

1988

Gego: Recent Works, Galería Sotavento, Caracas, Venezuela

1985

5/85 Drawing Without Paper, Museo de Barquisimeto, Barquisimeto, Venezuela

1984

Drawing Without Paper, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

1982

Acuarelas de Gego, Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela

1981

Environmental, Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela (permanent installation)

1979

Variaciones sobre reticuláreas – poema de Alfredo Silva Estrada en homenaje a Gego, Sala Cadafe, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela

1977

Gego, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela

1975

Gego: Drawings for Projects, Instituto de Diseño, Fundación Neumann – INCE, Caracas, Venezuela

1973

Recent Drawings, Galería Conkright, Caracas, Venezuela

1972

Structures (Double Curves), Galería Conkright, Caracas, Venezuela

1971

Gego: Sculpture and Drawing, Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY, USA

 

Gego: Sculptures 1971, Galería Conkright, Caracas, Venezuela

1970

Recent Works, Galería Conkright, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Gego Drawings, The Graphics Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA

1969

Reticulárea (ambientación), Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

1968

On paper: Lithographs by Gego, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Drawings by Gego, Galería Conkright, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Lithographs by Gego, Galería UD, Bogotá, Colombia

1967

Gego: Sculptures, 1957-1967, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Banco de la República, Bogotá, Colombia; Galería Conkright, Caracas, Venezuela

1964

The Never Projected, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

 

Lines and Inter-lines: Engravings and Drawings by Gego, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

1961

Recent Drawings by Gego, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

1958

Gego: Sculptures and Gouaches, Libreria Cruz del Sur, Caracas, Venezuela

Selected Public Collections

El Rancho High School, Pico Rivera, CA, USA

Grunwald Art Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA, USA

CIFO - Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, FL, USA

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), TX, USA

Iowa State University (Film Department), Iowa City, IA, USA

Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL, USA

University of New México Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Coleccion Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York City, NY, USA

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, NY, USA

New York Public Library, New York, NY, USA

Pratt Graphic Art Center, New York, NY, USA

Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA

Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

Museo Rayo - Museo de dibujo y grabado latinoamericano, Roldanillo, Colombia

Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain

Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain 

Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Switzerland

Tate Modern Collection. London, UK

AT&T Art Collection, New Jersey, USA

Colección Banco Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela

Facultad de Arquitectura Urbanismo, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela

Fundación Banco Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela

Fundación de Museos Nacionales, Caracas, Venezuela

Fundación Polar, Caracas, Venezuela

Galeria de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Francisco Narváez, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela

Museo de Barquisimeto, Barquisimeto, Venezuela

Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados (TAGA), Caracas, Venezuela

Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC), Mérida, Venezuela