Midiendo el infinito

Yam Lau
Museo Jumex, Mexico City
October 19, 2022 — February 5, 2023
Gego Midiendo el infinito, exhibition view, 2022.
Photo: Ramiro Chaves, courtesy of Museo Jumex, Mexico City
Museo Jumex, Mexico City
October 19, 2022 — February 5, 2023
Gego (Gertrud Louise Goldschmidt’s childhood nickname, later adopted professionally) is virtually unknown in the narrative of North American modern art. In 1939, Gego, a German Jew trained as an architect, fled fascism to settle in Caracas, Venezuela. She began to make art in her adopted country in the 1950s, when post-war modernism reigned. Midiendo el infinito (Measuring Infinity) chronicles her practice from her earliest representational watercolours to the last body of small figurative works, titled Bichos (Creatures). Gego’s practice included drawings, two- and three-dimensional structures, prints, books, installations, and large-scale architectural commissions. She wrote, “I discovered the charm of the line, in and of itself,” and at the heart of her career was playing with the line and its manifold potential.

Deployed as an active agent that generates space — unlike the line of the architect (Gego’s former trade), which serves as partition or enclosure, or the line of the sculptor, which serves to circumscribe form and mass — Gego’s line “passes through,” intersecting and gathering according to a nascent logic that hinges on the improvisational. The line’s actions create structures that are neither real nor symbolic; the open, loosely held together gestural schemas are rendered by its essential mobility. This mobility, this trait of nimbleness, commits the line to infinite variation and deviation. I regard Gego’s works as spatial propositions, a little like virtual wireframe models, pledged not to the real but to what she termed the “transparent” — the “reserve” from which still more propositions are engendered and enabled.

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This article also appears in the issue 109 - Water

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