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Synopsis

Venezuelan journalist Mara Comerlati interviews Gego about the exhibition of watercolors that will be held at the Galería de Arte Nacional (GAN) in Caracas in August 1982. She also provides information about the most important moments in Gego’s career. Comerlati describes the transparent color planes intrinsic to Gego’s metal Reticuláreas and how they operate in space. She discusses the three-dimensionality suggested by these works, which will be included in Gego’s next show. Gego speaks of how demanding her work is and the problem of mastering watercolor technique. She also emphasizes how important Gerd Leufert, a Venezuelan graphic designer of Lithuanian origin, has been to her development as an artist. She asserts that only in Venezuela would she have been able to fully develop as an artist. In closing, Gego discusses the projects she is working on at the moment: a project for a private residence akin to her work Cuerdas [Strings] (1972), and an environment for the Old Opera House in Frankfurt, Germany, her native country.

Annotations

There are a number of interesting features to Mara Comerlati’s interview with Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994), a Venezuelan artist of German origin. First, the succinct and accurate information it provides about the crucial moments in Gego’s career, and then about this specific exhibition of watercolors. The exhibition, Acuarelas de Gego, recreated the structure of Gego’s Reticulárea by means of color as a way of revisualizing that work prior to its future and permanent installation in a gallery in GAN in August 1982. That exhibition expressly addressed the incessant interplay that Gego formulated between two- and three-dimensional universes insofar as these “watercolors–reticuláreas,” which generate a sense of three-dimensional space, and the [earlier versions of] the Reticulárea, as drawing in space, confront the limits of artistic genres.

A second feature of this interview is the fact that Gego mentions how indebted she is to her life partner, Gerd Leufert (1914–1998), for having supported her in her career. Leufert was a crucial figure in modern graphic design in Venezuela. 

Finally, in the interview Gego speaks of two projects: an environment for the Old Opera House of Frankfurt, which would become the imposing reticulárea work entitled Reticulárea Alte Oper for the exhibition Spielraum-Raumspiele [Play Area / Playful Space] (1982). This work was accompanied by music composed by John Cage (1912–1992), one of the most influential American composers of the twentieth century; Cage also experimented with the visual arts as a painter and printmaker. The second project was a piece for a private home whose conception was similar to the work Cuerdas [Strings] in Parque Central, Caracas. This project entailed a work made in the façade of a house in the San Román section of Caracas.

Fragments of this interview were selected for publication in the bilingual book Desenredando la red. La Reticulárea de Gego. Una antología de respuestas críticas / Untangling the Web: Gego’s Reticulárea, An Anthology of Critical Response, organized by María Elena Huizi and Ester Crespin, currently in the process of being published by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Fundación Gego, Caracas.

Researcher
Josefina Manrique
Team
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Credit
Courtesy of Mara Comerlati, Caracas, Venezuela