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    La obra : espacio de un acontecer
    Gego. -- Caracas: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, 1977
    p. 5 - 12 : ill.
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Hanni Ossott. "La obra: espacio de un acontecer." In Gego, 5–12.Caracas: Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, 1977.
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Hanni Ossott reviews Gego’s three-dimensional works retrospectively back to 1976. Ossott observes that unlike other contemporary works, Gego’s work invites the viewer to see past technical and formal elements to find the human “perspective” in an “invisible space.” This is her “event,” which is the time that transpires from the moment the viewer discovers signs and structures in the work, to the space in which the viewer recognizes himself in it. For Ossott, however, Gego’s work has an expressive, emotional quality with visible, well-defined structural systems: parallel and vertical lines, and based on the triangle and the square


The Venezuelan poet and art critic, Hanni Ossott (1946–2002) wrote this for the catalogue of the exhibition Gego, presented at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Caracas, 1977). This was the first large solo exhibition Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912–1994) had had, and the first time her work had appeared in a book. In the chapters that follow Ossott’s essay in the catalogue there are descriptions of each of the structural systems the writer used to classify Gego’s three-dimensional works, including her thoughts and explanatory notes (also written by Ossott). The graphic designer Álvaro Sotillo illustrated the different structural systems, showing all the technical and formal aspects indicated by the writer as being characteristic of Gego’s work. The book ends with a chronological account.    


Ossott presents a vision and a thesis (both of them precursors) regarding Gego’s three-dimensional work, dividing and grouping them according to their visible formal structures. This structuring of Gego’s work, and the terms that Ossott used to describe it, laid the groundwork for subsequent research into the artist’s work. It should be noted that Ossott worked closely with Gego during the production of the book, so it is possible that the latter’s chronological record of her work (Cf. “Planteamiento de problemas e intereses perseguidos”, 1977 [A Consideration of Problems and Matters of Interest]) was the basis for Ossott’s account.   


Throughout her essay, Ossott insists that Gego’s use of structures turned inside out, technical evidence, and manifest geometric approach, often blind viewers to the emotional and human quality of Gego’s art. This idea, previously explored by critics such as Lourdes Blanco (Cf. “Reticulárea”, 1969), sounds profound in the author’s poetic voice as she discusses the balance between rational-abstract and emotional-human concepts that surround and weave their way into Gego’s work. The poetic tone of the essay contrasts with the analytical rigor with which the author defines, analyzes, and groups Gego’s structural systems, and her steady evolution over the course of her career.    

Josefina Manrique
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Courtesy of the Private Archives of Hanni Ossott
Fundación Gego, Av. Principal Colinas de Bello Monte, Edif. Centro Comercial Bello Monte, Piso 3, Oficina 3F, Caracas, 58-212-7511342, correo electrónico: