Gego (Gertrud Louise Goldschmidt)

b. 1912, Hamburg, Germany - d. 1994, Caracas, Venezuela

Gego was a German-born Venezuelan artist and sculptor. She attended theTechnische Hochschule of Stuttgart,in 1932, where she studied under the popular masonry artist, Dr. Paul Bonatz. In 1938, she received a diploma in both Architecture and Engineering. 

In 1935, once the Nazis seized Germany, Gego was forced into exile and moved to Venezuela at the age of seventeen. Through her partner, the artist Gerd Leufert, Gego was introduced to a number of artists practicing Kinetic Art, Constructivism, and Geometric Abstraction, as modernist art movements reached their peak in Venezuela.

It was not until the mid-1960s that Gego departed from her previous platform of Kinetic Art, and instead, informed her work by engaging with the line as a formal structure. For Gego, a line inhabits its own space, and as such, it is not merely a component of a larger work, instead, it is the work itself. Therefore, the artist did not use the line to represent an image, the line is the very image. The strength or purpose of the line was enhanced by her use of different materials, such as steel, wire, lead, nylon, and various metals.

Gego's idea of a series of artworks that would be titled "Drawings Without Paper" reflect her view of space. She considered space as its own form, as if her artwork was occupying the room itself. Since her pieces are made from nets and grid-like materials, negative space is everywhere, causing the negative as well as the positive space to be appreciated. But it is the shadows created by her works that reveal the integral connection between the sculpture and the room it occupies. Gego was thus allowed to play with the idea of the stable and unstable elements of art.

The artist’s work as been shown all around the world in countless group exhibitions and numerous solo exhibitions, and her work is found in important public collections such as MoMA; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museo Reina Sofia; the Tate Modern; and the Art Institute of Chicago.

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