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  • ICAA Record ID
    Gego : outside in, inside out / Rina Carvajal
    Los Angeles, CA : Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1999
    p. 113- 133 : ill.
    Book/Pamphlet – Essays
    Carvajal, Rina. “Gego: Outside in, Inside out.” In The Experimental Exercise of Freedom, 113–133. Exh. cat., Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 1999.
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In this essay, Venezuelan curator Rina Carvajal asserts that by means of the disintegration and reconfiguration of the form, the visual discourse formulated by Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994), a Venezuelan artist of German origin, opened up new possibilities in the languages of Constructivism and geometric abstraction. Carvajal analyzes Gego’s development as an artist, pointing out how she gradually moved away from the object as she established a free and flexible, and organic and open relationship with form and space. In her later work, Gego would render space a highly expressive and intuitive active field, the center of perceptions and of “immaterial” and fluid forces that make way for destabilization and for contradictory energies. According to Carvajal, Gego privileges “freedom of experimentation” over aesthetics.


This essay by Venezuelan curator Rina Carvajal appears in the catalogue to the show, The Experimental Exercise of Freedom: Lygia Clark, Gego, Mathias Goeritz, Helio Oiticica, Mira Schendel (The Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA, Los Angeles, 1999). Carvajal, who curated the show, wrote an essay on each of the participating artists, including Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994), a Venezuelan artist of German origin. As her introduction to the book indicates, Carvajal set out to understand how, from 1950 to 1980, the Latin American artists in the exhibition absorbed, questioned, and critically transformed the hypotheses of European Constructivist avant-gardes. Carvajal finds analogies and common parameters in the pursuits and accomplishments of these five creators, and in the contexts surrounding their artistic practices. The curator bases her analysis on the phrase “the experimental exercise of freedom” that Brazilian critic Mário Pedrosa (1900–1981) used in reference to artists who attempted to go beyond the limits of the object as conclusive form.

In the essay on Gego, Carvajal addresses Gego’s production as a whole; in her view, it is an ascending path toward greater expressive freedom and a release from the traditions of the European avant-gardes. Carvajal affirms the value of Gego’s contribution to Latin American and international art, establishing a dialogue between Gego’s work and that of the other artists in the show.


Josefina Manrique
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Reproduced with permission of Rina Carvajal.
“GEGO: Outside In, Inside Out” by Rina Carvajal appears © and courtesy The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2013.
This essay originally appeared in the exhibition catalogue The Experimental Exercise of Freedom, edited by Alma Ruiz and published by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 1999.