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.
Hanni Ossott introduces Gego’s exhibition Gego: Dibujos para proyectos [Gego: Drawings for Projects], which includes the artist’s architectural, design, and art projects from 1937 to 1975. The critic suggests that during her training as an architect-engineer, Gego would have had to work within the conservative parameters of the technical college she attended in Stuttgart, and would not have been able to indulge her creative freedom until she had left school. Ossott ponders the difference in perspective between Gego, the technical architectural student, and Gego, the artist. The critic concludes that traces of an artist’s training can always be found in their individual transformation.
This manuscript, found in the archives of the German-born Venezuelan artist, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912– 1994), which are now kept by the Fundación Gego (Caracas), is the only existing proof of the exhibition Dibujos para proyectos [Drawings for Projects] curated by the Venezuelan poet and art critic Hanni Ossott (1946–2002), and organized by the Instituto de Diseño, Fundación Neumann-Ince [Neumann-Ince Foundation Design Institute], Caracas (in 1976, according to the notation on the manuscript). Other chronological accounts of the artist’s life, however, suggest that the exhibition actually took place in 1975. It should be noted that those chronological accounts are based on a variety of personal curricula produced by the artist, which mention the latter year. It is likely that there was no catalogue, since it was a modest event organized at the Instituto de Diseño, where Gego was a professor, and the exhibition was in fact arranged for the benefit of the students. The manuscript was probably circulated as a salon sheet or perhaps posted on the walls of the room where the exhibition was held.
This was the first exhibition to compare Gego’s architectural projects with her works of art and design, which would reveal important, basic similarities. In this brief general text, Ossott wonders about the influence of Gego’s architectural training on her visual artwork, such as her Reticulárea (1969). Many years later, the architect Hannia Gómez organized the exhibition Gego Arquitecto [Gego the Architect] (Caracas: Trasnocho Arte Contacto, Sala TAC, 2006) at which those questions were methodically studied and answered.
This text also represents Hanni Ossott’s first curatorial approach to Gego’s work, prior to the great exhibition held in 1977 at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo [Contemporary Art Museum], in Caracas. It is entirely possible that this exhibition arose from the work that Ossott and Gego did in preparation for the exhibition at the MAC.