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    Gego premio nacional de artes plásticas : espero que mis alumnos hagan cosas diferentes a las que les he enseñado / Mara Comerlati
    El Nacional (Caracas, Venezuela). -- Jul. 9, 1980
    Newspaper article – Testimonials
    Comerlati, Mara. “Gego premio nacional de artes plásticas : Espero que mis alumnos hagan cosas diferentes a las que les he enseñado.” El Nacional (Caracas, Venezuela), July 9, 1980.

Venezuelan cultural journalist Mara Comerlati conducted this interview with Gego in 1980 soon after she had been awarded the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas in 1979. Comerlati provides biographical information about the artist: her arrival in Venezuela in 1939 escaping World War II; her later work as a professional architect and engineer; the atmosphere in the home Gego shared with her companion, designer Gerd Leufert; and a list of the other prizes Gego had been awarded. In the interview, Gego expresses her view on issues like the importance of competition and prizes in the visual arts and the role of juries. Gego also discusses the various media and materials she has used in her work, which she places in the following categories: graphic works and sculptures, drawings, environments, and works based on integral interaction with architecture. She places emphasis on the series Chorros [Streams], Esferas [Spheres], and Dibujos sin papel [Drawings Without Paper]. The interview, which is illustrated with photographs by Luis Aguilera, also addresses her work as an educator and what she expects of her students.


This interview with Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994), a Venezuelan artist of German origin, by Venezuelan cultural journalist Mara Comerlati (born 1952), exemplifies the long and informal conversations between reporters and artists characteristic of a sort of cultural journalism common in Venezuela in the seventies and eighties. This interview took place in Gego’s home, though the artist admits that she prefers to meet the press in museums. The interview begins with a long introduction in which Comerlati provides some information about the artist’s past and present life. She goes on to address the subject of her award for the 1979 Premio Nacional, which Gego received at the age of sixty-eight. In addition to reiterating certain information about Gego’s life and work, the text sheds light on Gego’s opinions as expressed by the artist herself. Gego’s words reveal aspects of her personality, as well as her tastes, ideas about art in general and her own work in particular, and her teaching. Outstanding among these statements is the one used in the article’s title: “I hope my students don’t simply do the things I have taught them.” This phrase exemplifies Gego’s precise and straightforward way of speaking, and reveals her ideas on the importance of creative freedom in art education.

María Elena Huizi
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Courtesy of Mara Comerlatti, Caracas, Venezuela