GEGO German, 1912-1994
Gertrud Louise Goldschmidt, known from childhood as Gego (b. 1912 Hamburg, Germany - d. 1994 Caracas, Venezuela), trained as an architect in Stuttgart and fled Europe for Caracas, Venezuela in 1939 to escape the increasing anti-Semitism. She emerged as an artist in the 1950s alongside Carlos Cruz-Díez, Alejandro Otero and Jesús Rafael Soto working outside of the artistic mainstream in Caracas, ignoring stylistic labels. She created intricate sculptures with complex geometric forms, using industrial and found materials that she painstaking constructed by hand.
Gego never saw herself as a sculptor, rather as an artist working with line, she called it Dibujos sin papel (Drawing without paper). Gego moved effortlessly between two and three-dimensional work, often blurring the distinction purposely, constantly questioning the confines of sculpture and drawing.
Her large scale wire nets such as her significant work Reticulárea (a site specific installation first shown in 1969 at Museum de Bellas Anteo, Caracas) sway and cast shadows imparting an organic energy to the man-made materials. The shadows create secondary drawings on the walls and affect the negative spaces between them. These elements combine to create their own environments and experience for the viewer. Gego is in many public collections including Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), USA and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA as well as many public art and architectural installations throughout Venezuela.