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.
Mari Carmen Ramírez investigates the theme of “transparency” as a basic element of Gego’s drawings. Ramírez asserts that both Gego’s drawings and her constructions are expressed in a perceptibly ambiguous plane. In fact, they result from the interplay between two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality. The curator believes that in Gego’s works on paper, the lines create an illusion of floating in an active space, while the three-dimensional constructions resemble drawings in the air. Ramírez calls the perceptual plane on which this tension between the three-dimensional and the two-dimensional takes place, “the in-between dimension.” According to the curator, the transparency (physical by nature), allows us to look through the void; this transparency in turn rests on “the invisible” (metaphysical by nature). This is how the artist implies the capacity to go beyond and to identify a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, in a work that exists beyond its material components and is invisible. In other words, transparency leads the viewer to an “in-between dimension,” which suggests something hidden in the space. This is the dimension that would link the individual [viewer] with the cosmos.
Gego, Between Transparency and the Invisible / Gego, entre la Transparencia y lo Invisible was an exhibition organized by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presented from June 26 and September 25, 2005. Subsequently, a selection from this exhibition was sent to other locations: MALBA (Buenos Aires); the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango [Luis Ángel Arango Library] (Bogotá); and The Drawing Center (New York). Mari Carmen Ramírez, the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, served as curator of the exhibition and author of this text. To date, this was the first time anyone had closely studied what drawing represented within the work of Gego, in spite of the superficial attention given to its importance by other researchers in the past. In her curatorial perspective on Gego’s central focus, Ramírez systematically presents her opinions based on the artist’s own comments. This approach was uncommon among the other researchers, who tended to base their analyses on ad hoc concepts, or perhaps, on current art terminology. In turn, Ramírez compares Gego’s work to that of other drawing masters, such as Paul Klee and Josef Albers, pointing out differences and similarities, and highlighting Gego’s contributions from this perspective. In her interpretation, Ramírez gives more weight to the metaphysical meaning of Gego’s work, although she diligently studied Gego’s handling of the materials to arrive at this conclusion. This makes her criticism radically different from earlier critical perspectives on Gego’s work based and solely focused on the subjective experience. The earlier critics ignored the artist’s engineering background and the industrial outlook that informed the pieces she executed.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.