Gego, a Jewish sculpture artist who fled Nazi Germany and reinvented herself in Venezuela, is being celebrated at the LGDR Gallery in New York this month.
Gertrude Goldschmidt, known in art circles simply as Gego, would be 111 this year. She and her family fled Nazi Germany in 1939, but she arrived alone to Caracas, Venezuela. At the time, the South American capitol was a city in the middle of a vibrant artistic renaissance, and she joined into that atmosphere with gusto.
Her work is always abstract, usually featuring jagged, meandering lines or geometric shapes repeated into wild complexity.
“I believe she is part of the incredible artists of the postwar era that have touched upon not just one medium, but many mediums,” said the art dealer Dominique Lévy, a founding member of the art agency LGDR. “She had the courage to stay the course without worrying about trends, without any fear. She should be up there with the greatest.”
For Lévy, what is most original about Gego’s work is how she brings together oppositions into pieces that vibrate with the tension of their own differences. “What makes her essential and relevant is the way she was able to deal with sculpture,” said Lévy, “to reunite oppositions, from the very strong to the very vulnerable, from the very static to the very moving. Those oppositions come together into something that’s breathtaking. She uses very minimal material to make something incredibly grand.”
The show that LGDR is hosting is called “Lines in Space,” a concise selection of works by Gego. With just under 40 works, the show is featuring her linework sculptures, which she called Dibujos sin papel, or drawings without paper. It also features her watercolors, lithographs, and a few other works on paper.
Gego passed away in 1994. According to the people at LGDR, New York is “last in rediscovering her.”
“Lines in Space,” will be exhibited at the LGDR Gallery until July 7th.