MACBA Museu d ́Art Contemporani de Barcelona


08 Nov 2006 - 14 Jan 2007

© Gego
Reticulárea (ambientación), 1969
"Defying Structures"

28/07/2006 - 15/10/2006 Museu de Arte Contemporanea Serralves
08/11/2006 - 14/01/2007 MACBA

With Lygia Clark and Mira Schendel, Gego is undoubtedly the most important South American artist of the second half of the 20th century. The three artists started out from a constructivism with European roots until they reached their present aesthetic propositions, far removed from modernist idealism; much closer to therapy, writing and an existential vision of space, in fact. Whilst today Clark and Schendel’s work is recognised internationally, Gego remains an unknown figure. The exhibition at MACBA aims to rectify that situation, and to show the different facets of her artistic career. The show, which will be anthological, will place special emphasis on the last period of her production, focusing on the “reticularias”.
Born in Hamburg in 1912, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt) trained as an architect at the University of Stuttgart. She emigrated to Venezuela in 1939, where she began to work in the constructivist tendency with neo-plasticist inspiration.
Unknown to the general public in Europe, Gego’s work is undoubtedly an excellent expression of the evolution of abstract art in Latin America. Composed fundamentally of lines and intersections in space, her sculptures organise and give movement to that space while defining and framing the void. In a way, Gego uses the void as the matter for modelling the space, which is an active element. Lines, nets and meshes, Gego’s sculptures are made in the form of geometrical structures that give way to organic forms.
Between 1957 and 1971, Gego produced series of drawings dominated by systems of parallel lines from which her first sculptures would evolve. In 1969 she did what is regarded as her most emblematic work: the “Reticulárea”. It consists of a great structure of lines suspended in space, constructed with wires wound around at the ends so that they can be joined to one another or to several others at the same time. Later she created the “Chorros” (1970) using the same structuring system. The lines are no longer parallel; they fall vertically in an apparent chaos. Other series of works, like the “Troncos” (1974) based on triangular systems, the “Dibujos sin papel” or the “Tejeduras” – where she seems to want to bring abstract structures back to the real world and the space of the everyday – pay special attention to the space and the vision which distance her from kinetic art or op-art and allow her to develop all her concerns with construction and structure.
Curators: Manuel Borja-Villel and Bartomeu Marí
Production: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto

Tags: Lygia Clark, Gertrude Goldschmidt, Mira Schendel