Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art Home


Document first page thumbnail
Editorial Categories [?]

In this review of the opening of Gego’s exhibition at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo [Contemporary Art Museum] in Caracas in 1977, Luis Lozada Soucre reports on the great, well-attended event. He quotes Marta Traba, and interviews people in politics, artists, critics, and members of the public, including Chancellor Simón Alberto Consalvi, the painter and printmaker Luisa Palacios, the sculptor Cornelis Zitman, the dancer Sonia Sanoja, the Brazilian critic Marc Berkowitz, the writer Oswaldo Trejo, and an unidentified architect. They all speak highly of Gego’s work and praise its poetic content. Sanoja expresses a desire to create a dance about Gego’s work in one of the rooms at the exhibition. The journalist also describes the look of restrained emotion on Gego’s face as she looked at the result of many long years of work.


The first great retrospective of works by the German-born Venezuelan artist Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994) was held in 1977 at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo [Contemporary Art Museum] in Caracas. Established as one of the great creators of Venezuelan art when she presented Reticulárea at the Museo de Bellas Artes [Museum of Fine Arts] in Caracas in 1969, she now presented a collection of what she had been working on since then: a series of Reticuláreas, Chorros [Streams], and Esferas [Spheres] which deserved attention and an exhibition of this nature. These works place Gego’s language as among the most original and paradigmatic forms of expression to be found—not just in Venezuela, but throughout Latin America. 


Beyond its relevance as a cultural and social commentary that documented a well-attended event, this article conveys the strong admiration and acknowledgment of Gego’s intellectual and artistic peers, in spite of favorable views held of kinetics in official circles and among certain critics who saw in these works another Venezuelan contribution to international art. The journalist starts by quoting Marta Traba, then goes on to present the opinions, albeit brief, of key people in the Venezuelan visual arts and literary community at the time, such as the painter and printmaker Luisa Palacios (La Nena), the Dutch-born Venezuelan sculptor Cornelis Zitman, the writer and poet Oswaldo Trejo, and the Brazilian critic (who was visiting Venezuela) Marc Berkowitz. The wish that Sonia Sanoja had expressed to the journalist came true and she presented Coreogegos on October 9 later that year.


It is true that Gego was practically ignored, as Traba so well describes, by another school of critical thought represented by Alfredo Boulton, an admirer and promoter of the work of Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Díez, and Alejandro Otero. In other words, the perspective that Traba had been criticizing for years, was mentioned by the journalist Luis Lozada Soucre at the beginning of his review.

María Elena Huizi
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Cortesy of Luis Lozada Soucre, Caracas, Venezuela