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.
In this essay, curator Ralf Christofori uses the notion of “non-orthogonal abstraction” to compare the work of different artists, among them Gego, a Venezuelan artist of German origin; Dutch artist Lara Schnitger; Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto; and Japanese-American artist Ruth Asawa. Christofori argues that concepts like “sculptural vitalism,” “systematic structures,” and the “dynamic inclusion” of the viewer are characteristics common to these artists, although he recognizes differences in how they address them. In terms of Gego’s work, Reticulárea, Christofori indicates the essential role played by its relationship to space, which is connected to an “existential subjectivity” on the part of the viewer. This vacillation in the [sense of] space is an innate part of the work’s mechanism.
Curator Ralf Christofori wrote this essay for the group show Raumkörper. Netze und Andere Gebilde [Spatial Body: Networks and Other Figurations], held at the Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, Switzerland), from August 1 to November 30, 2000. Regarding work by Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994), a Venezuelan artist of German origin, Christofori focuses his analysis on Reticulárea (1969). He then compares that work with the strategies used by creators of other nationalities: Dutch artist Lara Schnitger (born 1969), Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (born 1964), and Japanese-American artist Ruth Asawa (1926–2013), all of whom make use of concepts related to “non-orthogonal abstraction.” Fragments of this document 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.