Gego1912-1994, born Germany

“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.



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; Kunstmuseum Stuttgart; Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

2012: Gego: Origin and Encounter, Mastering 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

Gego, Colección Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela

2008: Gego: Estructuras diluídas, Museo de Barquisimeto, Barquisimeto, Venezuela

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

2006-2007: 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, Venzuela

2006Gego: Defying Structures, Museu de Arte Contemporánea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal; Museu d'Arte Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain
2005-2007: 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
2003: Gego: Gertrud Goldschmidt, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA
1996: Gego: Drawings, Engravings, Weavings, Centro Cultural Consolidado, Caracas, Venezuela
1994: Gego: A Look at Her Work, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela
1984: Drawing Without Paper, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela
1981: Environmental, Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela (permanent installation)
1977Gego, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas, Venezuela
1975Gego: Drawings for Projects, Instituto de Diseño, Fundación, Neumann INCE, Caracas, Venezuela
1971: Gego: Sculpture and Drawing, Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY, USA
1969: Environmental, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela
1968: On paper: Lithographs by Gego, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela
1964: The Never Projected, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela
1963: Lines and Inter-lines: Engravings and Drawing by Gego, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela
1961: Recent Drawings by Gego, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Venezuela
1958: Gego: Sculptures and Gouaches, Librería Cruz del Sur, Caracas, Venezuela


Gego’s work has been exhibited prominently in numerous group exhibitions, including Constructed Dialogues: Concrete, Geometric, and Kinetic Art from the Latin American Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2012); Imminencia de las Poéticas, 30th São Paulo Biennial (2012); Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010); North Looks South: Building the Latin American Art Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2009); Sites of Latin American Abstraction, Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach (2009); Bienal del Aire, Museo Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber, Caracas (2006); Marked Pages, Sicardi Gallery, Houston (2006); Cruz-Diez, Gego, Maggi, Soto & Tomasello, Sicardi Gallery, Houston (2006); Parallel Storeis: Venezuelan & Brazilian Abstract Constructive Art, Sicardi Gallery (2004); Inverted Utopias: Avant-Garde Art in Latin America, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2004); The Experimental Exercise of Freedom: Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, Gego, Mathias Goeritz, and Mira Schendel, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1999); and many others.



Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany

AT&T Art Collection, New Jersey, USA

Banco Industrial de Venezuela, Caracas

Cisneros Collection, Caracas, Venezuela

Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Switzerland

El Rancho High School, Pico Rivera, CA, USA

Facultad de Arquitectura Urbanismo, Universidad Central de Venezuela

Fundación Banco Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela

Fundación Polar, Caracas, Venezuela

Galeria de Arte Nacional, Caracas, Venezuela

Grunwald Art Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Francisco Narváez, Porlamar, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolivar

Museo de Barquisimeto, Barquisimeto

Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

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

The 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

Private collections in Venezuela, United States, Germany, Australia, Ecuador and Colombia

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

The University of Texas at Austin, TX, USA


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