A look at a wonderful Venezuelan artist: GEGO

December 28, 2003

 


Given the piece and quiet I will take advantage of it and talk about Venezuelan things that people may know little about. I will start with GEGO a famous Venezuelan artist. A good friend gave me as a Christmas present a new book about the life and works of Venezuelan artist GEGO. The book is absolutely spectacular and beautiful (my friend is one of the authors) more so given the fact that I love GEGOs work.


 


Most Venezuelans hardly even know who GEGO is. Her real name was Gertrud Goldschmidt. Born in Hamburg, GEGO had to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews. In 1938, she graduated as an architect-engineer in Stuttgart and left for London where she got a job offer for Venezuela. She got married soon after arriving here and had a shop in the 40s where she made furniture and lamps, much needed, given the lack of imports due to the war. She divorces her first husband and her artistic career begins when she meets another immigrant from Lithuania named Gerd Leufert in 1952. She moves to a tiny town in the Coast near Caracas and begins her career in earnest. She is best known for her three dimensional sculptures. Geometric and non geometric structures which I have always found extremely appealing. I am no expert on GEGO, but her geometric sculptures can be divided into two stages. The first one corresponds to highly symmetrical sculptures. The second to more irregular geometrical figures. In 1969, she designs Reticularea a full room sculpture made from wires and through which one can wander through. While most Venezuelans dont even know her, her work can be seen in many buildings around Caracas, like in the  Cediaz shopping center, Paseo Las Mercedes, Parque Central, IVIC, Banco Industrial de Venezuela and INCE. Slowly, GEGO is becoming more and more famous worldwide, with some of her sculptures now topping US$ 100,000. Her work is now present in most major Modern Art Museums. Her family still owns most of her works which I think adds to the current mystique surrounding her work. Below are some examples of her work I found in the net, including the famous Reticularea. You can see some more of her work in the Web, like Dibujos sin Papel , read more about her here or here or here. While not born in Venezuela, GEGO developed her artistic career here and benefited from the boom in art and architecture in Venezuela during the fifties and sixties.


 



Two Views of the room size Reticularea



Sphere #4                                                 Square Reticularea #6



Chorros                                       Drawing without Paper


 

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