Galería de Arte Nacional. “Gego, Reticulárea : exposición permanente.” Caracas, Venezuela.
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.
A salon sheet, with neither author nor date, signed by the GAN (Galería de Arte Nacional) [National Art Gallery], published (presumably) in connection with the permanent installation of Gego’s Reticulárea (1969), after her death, by a team of specialists from the GAN. The sheet is folded like a triptych with the central text split into two sections; the first section includes the artist’s biographical data and lists the media and techniques she used to create her other works: her watercolors and monotypes (1952), three-dimensional pieces (after 1958), and sculpture imbedded in architecture. The second section is devoted to the Reticulárea (1969), and includes descriptions of the main features of the work: “a technical experience combined with an aesthetic sensitivity; a convergence of the artist, the artisan, and the designer, as is immediately apparent; a simple articulation of stainless steel rods in a complex configuration where reticular and organic intercept.” There is a description of the room that was specially designed for the exhibition where Reticulárea is installed; it is almost literally a white cube: a unique space with no inside or outside, no front or back, where viewers can walk through a fluid visual environment. It is registered as follows: Reticulárea-ambientación-1969–1981 [Reticulárea-environment-1969–1981]/Stainless steel/ 350 x 540 x 500 cm/Acquisition prize, “Las artes plásticas en Venezuela” [The Visual Arts in Venezuela], Museo de Bellas Artes, 1976/Galería de Arte Nacional Collection.
This salon sheet, folded like a triptych, with neither date nor author, and signed by the GAN (Caracas), was produced for the permanent installation of the Reticulárea (1969) by the German-born Venezuelan artist Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994). On the cover there is a photograph of Gego (a detail) standing in front of the Reticulárea (photographer: Christian Belpaire, 1980); under the photo is the title: Gego. Reticulárea. Exposición permanente-Galería de Arte Nacional. [Gego. Reticulárea. Permanent Exhibition. National Art Gallery]. There is text on the following page, followed by another photograph (a detail), and then the work’s registration card. It is of interest to note that there is nothing but institutional information about the GAN and its hours of operation on the back; there are no names of officers of the Institution or those who installed the piece. The photographer is the only one named. We presume that it was published to coincide with the permanent installation of the work (in 1997)—among the institutional information mentioned above there is an email address and a web page address, which suggests that it was recently produced—by a team of specialists from the GAN in time for the exhibition La invención de la continuidad [The Invention of Continuity], jointly curated by Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas and Ariel Jiménez. The work had been taken down in 1994 because of leaks in the room. When Gego installed her piece in 1982 it was widely reported in the press. This time, however, Gego was not involved and there was no press coverage or news of the event or interviews with those who organized it. This is the only document available that refers to the event.
Iris Peruga’s essay “Gego. El prodigioso juego de crear” [Gego: The Prodigious Game of Creating] was first published in 2000 in the catalogue for the exhibition at the Museo de Bellas Artes [Museum of Fine Arts] in Caracas. Two years later in Gego. Obra completa 1955–1990 [Gego: Complete Works 1955–1990] (Caracas: Fundación Cisneros, 2003), in the chapter “LA GRAN RETICULÁREA O RETICULÁREA AMBIENTAL” [The Great Reticulárea or Environmental Reticulárea] Peruga refers to its various exhibitions, both in Caracas and abroad, and to its permanent installations between 1969 and its final one in 1997. Peruga writes: “(…) It was installed at the Museo de Bellas Artes in June 1969; in September of that year, in a joint initiative arranged by the Museo and the Conkright Gallery in Caracas, Reticulárea was included in an exhibition of four Latin American artists at the Center for Inter-American Relations in New York, where Gego installed it in a tent that was specially designed for the occasion (…). Apparently, Reticulárea was exhibited at least ten times (…). But, because it was a manual and extremely personal operation—since Gego always had to be there—and took an excessive amount of energy to transport and install, it could only be shown in a permanent setting that was appropriately outfitted. In 1980 it was agreed that the work would be permanently installed in a room at the Galería de Arte Nacional; Gego took charge of the project with the help of her friend, the architect Dix Branch. But that installation was not final either (…) the work had to be taken down for a while, and then reinstalled in the same place, in 1997 (…)”.