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In her essay, “Un legado a las ideas de arte en el nuevo milenio” [A Legacy for Ideas on Art in the New Millennium], María Elena Ramos sets forth the hypothesis that the Venezuelan artists, Jesús Rafael Soto, Alejandro Otero, and Gego may be considered creators who represent the future. To prove her point, the writer highlights Otero’s interest in astronomy, space research, and its possible influence on the future of humanity; Soto’s curiosity about philosophy, physics, mathematics, and twelve-tone music; and finally, Gego’s involvement in engineering and nature. Ramos states that the approaches of all three artists lead to “an art that incorporates the idea of the future in its structures and visions.” The curator bases her ideas on the concepts and theories of writers such as Italo Calvino, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Rafael Argullol, and André Malraux. She cites the opinion of the American critic Rosalind Krauss on the importance of the grid in abstract Constructivist artwork, which she places in the “range of universal art.” The writer goes on to explain that abstract art may still touch the human being in the look, touch, and movement. The examples she provides are Soto, Otero, and Gego, each of whom possessed a spirit that was unquestionably universal.
This essay by the art critic, María Elena Ramos (b. 1948), was initially presented in Badajoz, Spain (2001), at the conference, América Latina en el Siglo XXI: El Futuro de la Artes Plásticas [Latin America in the Twenty-First Century: The Future of the Visual Arts]. It was subsequently published in the Caracas newspaper, El Nacional, in 2002. The article departs from the traditional way of focusing on artists and their works: limiting the discussion to works created both in the past and in the present. Beyond the potential projection they may have in the twenty-first century and beyond, Ramos proposes the current validity of these artists based on the way they approach their work. The artists she cites are Jesús Rafael Soto (1923–2005), Alejandro Otero (1921–1990) and the Venezuelan artist originally from Germany, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994). In this critic’s opinion, based on their form, content, and approach, the work of these artists refers to an original dimension of the future. The affinity for certain scientific and technological disciplines these three artists have is indelibly reflected in their works, and provides Ramos with an unusual way of discussing these figures within Latin American visual art. To this critic, even the analogies between their creations and the innovative approaches of important thinkers place this trio within the parameters of creation for the new millennium. This is an important evaluation, since it departs from the broad idea of chronology; it instead considers the future as part of the theoretical awareness that underlies the works of Soto, Otero, and Gego.