For those unfamiliar with the legacy of Gertrude Goldshmidt (or Gego, as she is popularly known), a comprehensive exhibition of works, currently on show at Dominique Lévy's Upper East Side gallery in New York, is poised to reveal all. 'Gego: Autobiography of a Line' is an inspiring tribute to the 20th century icon, who trained as an architect prior to becoming an artist. Born in Hamburg, Germany in 1912, and then based in Venezuela after fleeing the Nazis, Gego's intricately woven, three-dimensional works explore the power of the simple line.
Thanks to the support of Fundación Gego and several other art institutions in Venezuela and Latin America who temporarily parted with pieces for the exhibition, Dominique Levy's show brings many of Gego's key works back into view, including her famed Chorros series, last seen in New York in 1971. Constructed from knotted wires that delicately graze the ground, these slender, towering sculptures (the title of which translates to 'waterfalls') encapsulates the unique sense of space that Gego possessed.
'It's very difficult to do something different with Gego because there have been many well-curated exhibitions before, but I think we hit the nail on the head when we decided to focus the show on her relationship with the material,' says Jesús Fuenmayor, who helped to organise the exhibition. 'It's amazing that this woman was working for over 40 years with metal. She was living every single day of her life with this material and manipulating it. Few shows have ever published that particular process.'
To this end, the selection of works on display fully celebrates Gego's remarkable approach, which is consistently palpable regardless of medium. From drawings on paper that articulate the same methods of tying together metal in her sculptures, to collages and intricate metal weavings (her Tejeduras works) that blur the distinctions between the drawn and sculpted line, Gego's dissections of the line covers all bases.
This New York presentation will be followed by a second exhibition of Gego's work at Dominque Levy's London space next spring, along with two new catalogues that examine her work in a contemporary context.