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Biography

Gego

Gego in 1969 with her “Reticulárea” in Caracas, Venezuela.

Hamburg, Germany, 1912 - Caracas, Venezuela, 1994

Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt) studied architecture and engineering at the Stuttgart Technical School (Germany), where she was tutored by architect Paul Bonatz, following the models of the Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism. In 1939, due to persecution from the Nazi regime, she migrated to Venezuela, making Caracas her home.

Once there, Gego dedicated to design, particularly of furniture, and the development of architectural projects. Additionally, she began a long teaching career that would lead her to be one of the founders and subsequent professors of the Institute of Design from the Neumann Foundation (Caracas) in 1964. It was during the 1950s that she deepened her artistic practice, which was at first of a figurative, expressionist type, and then, already in dialogue with kinetic artists like Alejandro Otero and Jesús Soto, of a sculptural type, grounded upon spectator participation, action, and movement as key principles of production.

Her work is characterized by the experimentation with lines upon space, conceived as the most elemental unit of drawing, as well as for the innovative use of the reticule, a form intimately related to abstraction in modern art. In 1969, Gego exhibited Reticulárea at the Caracas Museum of Fine Arts, an installation whose importance in the history of art cannot be understated. It is an assembly of modular pieces made of steel and aluminum, which constitute an apparently organic vast structure, but the experience of which is marked by the rupture of the spaces that hold them in place.