The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
According to English critic and curator Guy Brett, abstract works of art, whether systematic or informal in nature, can be seen as models of the universe. It is on this premise that he studies Gego’s work. Brett maintains that the work of many important creators shifted from abstract art to an organic model as a way of encompassing the universe. After validating his thesis in relation to major contemporary artists like Georges Vantongerloo, Alexander Calder, Lygia Clark, and others, Brett asserts that Gego’s work also underwent a similar process of evolution in which the form dissolved, making way for an energetic “force field.” Brett asserts that Gego’s work can be seen as the creation of an atmosphere of antihierarchical connections, of elements that flow in an indeterminate space or a force field.
Guy Brett (born 1942) gave this lecture in the context of the exhibition Questioning: Gego, A Selection, 1955–1990, held in 2002 at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In earlier texts like “The Century of Kinesthesia,” Force Fields: Phases of the Kinetic (London: Hayward Gallery, 2000), Brett had analyzed work by Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994), a Venezuelan artist of German origin, according to the concept of “force fields”; after this lecture, he would do so again in “Gego: Arte, diseño y el campo poético” (Desafiando estructuras, 2006) [“Gego: Art, Design and the Poetic Field”(Defying Structures, 2006)]. Brett first formulated his thesis on “force fields” on the basis of an analysis of Kineticism, which he believed had not been deeply studied; Brett believed that Kineticism had been misunderstood insofar as it was seen as a twentieth-century visual spectacle. He formulated a wholly new approach to Kineticism that sees it as an intuitive construction of a model of the universe. Brett would later expand his theory to include artists who—though not strictly Kinetic as their work moved toward an organic approach rather than rigid or informal strains of abstraction—made way for a more cosmological, intuitive, and sensitive model. In Brett’s view, this is the case with Gego. Significantly, this text compares the works and careers of major artists active in Latin America, as well as on the international art scene, and finds parallels between their production and Gego’s work. This was very important at the time since Gego’s work was just beginning to gain recognition outside Venezuela.