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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

2022    
Gego: The Architecture of an Artist, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany

2019    
Gego: The emancipated line, The Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), São Paulo, Brazil 

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, Germany 

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

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

Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

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

Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL, USA

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, USA

Colección Banco Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela

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

Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Switzerland

Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA

El Rancho High School, Pico Rivera, CA, USA

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

Grunwald Art Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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

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

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Francisco Narváez, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela

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

Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

Museo de Barquisimeto, Barquisimeto, Venezuela

Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela

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

Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

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

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

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

New York Public Library, New York, NY, USA

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA, USA

Pratt Graphic Art Center, New York, NY, USA

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), San Francisco, CA, USA

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

Tate Modern Collection, London, UK

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA

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