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Gego in Measuring Infinity at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Gego installing Reticulárea 1981. Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, 1980. Photo: Christian Belpaire, Fundación Gego Archives. 

Gego: Measuring Infinity

Gego, or Gertrud Goldschmidt (b. 1912, Hamburg; d. 1994, Caracas), first trained as an architect and engineer at the Technische Hochschule Stuttgart (now Universität Stuttgart). Fleeing Nazi persecution in 1939, she immigrated to Venezuela, where she settled permanently, fully embarking on an artistic career in the 1950s that would span more than four decades. In two- and three-dimensional works across a variety of mediums, Gego explored the relationship between line, space, and volume. Her practice in the related fields of architecture, design, and teaching complemented those investigations.

This exhibition is the first major museum retrospective of Gego’s work to be presented in the United States since 2005, offering a fully integrated view of the influential German-Venezuelan artist and her distinctive approach to the language of abstraction. Across five ramps of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda, the chronological and thematic survey features nearly 200 works from the early 1950s through the early 1990s, including sculptures, drawings, prints, textiles, and artist’s books, alongside photographic images of installations and public works, sketches, publications, and letters.

Gego is one of the most significant artists to emerge from Latin America during the second half of the twentieth century, yet her work remains lesser known in the United States. Examining the formal and conceptual contributions she made through her organic forms, linear structures, and systematic spatial investigations, Gego: Measuring Infinity grounds Gego’s practice in the artistic contexts of Latin America that flourished over the course of her lengthy career, considering the artist’s intersections with—and departures from—key transnational art movements such as geometric abstraction and Kinetic art. Gego put forth radical ideas through her intensive investigations of structural systems: transparency, tension, fragility, spatial relations, and the optical effects of motion are all methodically addressed in her singular body of work. Tracing a markedly individual artistic path, Gego defied categorization. This long-overdue retrospective builds upon the Guggenheim Museum’s legacy of presenting groundbreaking modern and contemporary solo survey exhibitions in a global context that champion nonobjective art.

This presentation of Gego: Measuring Infinity is cocurated by Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York, and Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Associate Curator, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York.

The museum is thankful for the close collaboration and support of the Fundación Gego, led by its directors, Tomás and Barbara Gunz, who fully endorsed this exhibition. Additionally, the museum expresses gratitude to the staff and board of the Fundación Gego, which generously provided unrestricted access to its collection and archives.

Gego: Measuring Infinity is organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; and Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand—MASP. The exhibition was developed by Julieta González, Artistic Director, Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil; Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Associate Curator, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York; and Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York; in collaboration with Tanya Barson, former Chief Curator, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, and Michael Wellen, Senior Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, London.

The Leadership Committee for Gego: Measuring Infinity is gratefully acknowledged for its generosity, with special thanks to Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Chairs, as well as Edlis-Neeson Foundation, Dominique Lévy and Brett Gorvy, Catherine Petitgas, Estrellita and Daniel Brodsky, Adriana Batan Rocca, Peter Bentley Brandt, Maria Belen Avellaneda-Kantt, Alice and Nahum Lainer, Sicardi Ayers Bacino, Ana Julia Thomson de Zuloaga, and The Evelyn Toll Family Foundation.

Funding is also generously provided by the Kate Cassidy Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, the Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation, and Henry Moore Foundation.

Significant support is provided by National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Latin American Circle.