Pérez Oramas, Luis. “Gego, Residual Reticuláreas and Involuntary Modernism: Shadow, Traces, and Site,”/ “Gego, las retículas residuales y modernidad involuntaria: la sombra, los rastros, el sitio,” in Mari Carmen Ramírez and Theresa Papanikolas, eds., Questioning the Line: Gego in Context/Cuestionando la línea. Gego en context, International Center for the Arts of the Americas (Series) no. 2, Spanish translation by Héctor Olea, English translation by Julieta Fombona, (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston/ICAA, 2003), 83–115.
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Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas analyzes Gego’s work in light of what he considers her contribution to the history of visual art. The critic considers [the source of] that contribution to be the different artistic milieu in which her artistic life unfolded. Though she did draw from certain modern art sources, most of her work was created on the periphery of the modern art world, and her work transcended modern art. The curator believed Gego’s work was executed without her having in mind any predetermined meaning, that she instead developed the work through “structural accidents,” apart from any formal governing plan. Therefore, far from the ideologies of modern art, Gego’s work obeyed the “logic of deviation.”
This text was written by the Venezuelan curator and critic, Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas (b. 1960) on Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994), the Venezuelan visual artist originally from Germany. It was included in a set of lectures given in connection with the exhibition, Questioning the Line: Gego, A Selection, 1955–90, held in 2002 at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Pérez Oramas was one of the most important and diligent critics of the artist’s work. There are many concepts about Gego’s work explained in this text that would serve as the basis of critical perspectives developed by other art scholars and by Pérez Oramas himself in the future. In some cases, the concept would be the main subject of an article; in other cases, it would be included in other essays. Ideas that would appear in later articles include the “rhizome” as applied to the Reticulárea, the distinction between a Reticulárea and “a reticular practice,” the artwork as “accident,” the breakdown of the modern art trend, etc. Thus, this text can be considered the essay that launched the art history of this artist.Fragments of this document are included in the texts selected for 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, María Elena Huizi and Ester Crespin (organizers)—to be published in 2013 by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Fundación Gego, Caracas.