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Biography

GEGO (Gertrude Luise Goldschmidt)
[1912, Germany - 1994, Venezuela]

As a young woman, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt) worked as a draftswoman in several architecture firms, painting workshops, and carpentry shops in her native Germany while completing a degree in architecture from the Universität 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; most 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 at Galería Don Hatch, Caracas, Venezuela. By 1959, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York Cityhad 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 (UCV) 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.

Gego's works have been shown in numerous important solo exhibitions, including Gego: Origin and Encounter, Mastering the Space, Americas Society (AS), New York City, New York, USA (2012); Between the lines: Gego as Printmaker, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, USA (2017); Gego: Sculpture and Drawing, Betty Parsons Gallery, New York City, New York, USA (1971);

Gego: Sculptures, 1957-1967, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia (1967); Gego, Drawings, Engravings, Weavings, Centro Cultural Consolidado, Caracas, Venezuela (1996); Gego: La poetique de la Ligne, Colección Mercantil, Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris, France (2014); Gego: Autobiography of a Line, Dominique Lévy Gallery, London, England, UK (2016);Gego: Between Transparency and the Invisible, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia, The Drawing Center, New York City, New York, USA, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Argentina, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Texas, USA (2005); Acuarelas de Gego, Galería de Arte Nacional (GAN), Caracas, Venezuela (1982); Weavings, Galería Sotavento, Caracas, Venezuela (1990); Gego: Line as Object, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany (2013), Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, England, UK, and Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (2014); Gego. Die Architektur einer Künstlerin, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (2022); Gego: Sculptures and Gouaches, Librería Cruz del Sur, Caracas, Venezuela (1958); Questioning the Line: Gego, A Selection, 1955-1990, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Mexico, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Texas, USA (2002); Lines and Inter-lines: Engravings and Drawings by Gego, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela (1964); Reticulárea (ambientación), Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela (1969); Gego: Defying Structures, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Spain and Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2006); and Gego: a la linha emancipada, Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), Brazil (2019), among others.

Gego’s works are represented in several major collections including Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA; Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), Caracas, Venezuela and New York City, New York, USA; Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zurich, Switzerland; Fundación Banco Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas (MACC), Venezuela; Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Texas, USA; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, New York, USA; New York Public Library (NYPL), New York City, New York, USA; Pratt Graphic Art Center, New York City, New York, USA; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, New York, USA; and Taller de Artistas Gráficos Asociados (TAGA), Caracas, Venezuela.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2022    
Lines in Space, LGDR, Paris, France
Gego: Measuring Infinity, Museo Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA
Gego: The Architecture of an Artist, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany

2019    
Gego: A Linha Emancipada, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), 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, UK

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, 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 (MACC), Venezuela
Gego: Procedencia y Encuentro, Sala Mendoza, Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas, Venezuela

2008
Gego: Estructuras diluídas, Museo de 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), Spain

2005
Gego: Between Transparency and the Invisible, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), TX, USA; Colección Costantini, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), 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), TX, USA ; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), 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 (MACC), Venezuela

1990
Weavings, Galería Sotavento, Caracas, Venezuela

1988
Gego: Recent Works, Galería Sotavento, Caracas, Venezuela

1985
5/85 Drawing Without Paper, Museo de 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 (MACC), Venezuela

1977
Gego, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas (MACC), 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, 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, 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, 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, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Francisco Narváez, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela

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

Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Moderno La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia

Museo de 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), Spain

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), 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), 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 Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM, USA