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.
This article has a title as well as a subtitle: “Gego: The Great Weaver is Gone. The Winner of the National Visual Arts Prize 1979 Died Yesterday in Caracas.” The writer and arts journalist Eloi Yagüe Jarque made this written tribute to Gego just after her death. In a summary of biographical information and an overview of her lifetime of work, Yagüe Jarque highlights the most important national and international events. He also describes periods and changes in the language, materials, and media she used, as well as her most representative works. The writer emphasizes the Reticulárea, which was the result of a structural system based on the triangle, the nodal element she began to use in 1968. He goes on to stress Gego’s “will to weave” and her life dedicated to making art from her position aligned with the avant-garde. The article concludes with a definition of the Reticulárea as “age-old webs, warps.” Yagüe Jarque states that to visit Gego’s great work in its room at GAN (Galería de Arte Nacional) [National Art Gallery] “would be the best tribute to the artist who left us and to her work that remains.”
September 17, 1994, was the date when the great Venezuelan artist originally from Germany, Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994), died. The national dailies published numerous articles (obituaries) paying homage to the artist, whether from a critical/poetic perspective or from an historical perspective. In this article, the writer and journalist, Eloi Yagüe Jarque (b. 1957) writes an accurate summary of the artist’s different periods. He includes a biography, an overview of all her work, changes in her artistic language over time, and summarizes her national and international importance. The journalist carefully lists her exhibitions and most distinguished prizes. Our attention is caught by the article’s title, in which he dubs Gego the “Gran Tejedora” [Great Weaver], an attribute that distinguishes her from the other great contemporary Venezuelan artists. It is an expression that well defines Gego’s life, personality, and work, which was distinguished by its genius, simplicity, and freedom, rather than by its grandiloquence or massive size. In closing his article, Yagüe Jarque calls upon the reader to visit “…those webs and warps in which no sooner do we enter, than we lose ourselves through the simple act of visiting the room at the Galería de Arte Nacional that houses the Reticulárea… it would be the best tribute to the artist who left us and to her work that remains.” Read retrospectively, the journalist’s statements may be interpreted (although this was certainly not his intention) as an alert that we must not be careless in the future about the preservation, restoration, and the permanent exhibition of the Reticulárea (1969). Paradoxically, the year Gego died (1994), owing to leaks into the exhibition room, the work was taken down. It remained in safekeeping until 1997, when it was reinstalled by a team of specialists at GAN.At the time of this writing (February 2012), the Gego room at GAN is closed, and once again, the work needs urgently to be restored. There is a related project being promoted by the Fundación Gego, in Caracas, to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the artist, in 2012. Foundation staff have been asking prominent arts authorities in Venezuela to set a high priority on the restoration of this representative work by Gego. Under these circumstances, the words of Yagüe Jarque stated in 1994 take on a new meaning: “…it would be the best tribute to the artist who left us and to her work that remains.”