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Gallery Text

Line and the space it implies define Gego’s work. After

receiving degrees in engineering and architecture at

the University of Stuttgart, Gego immigrated to Caracas

in 1939. Venezuela, amid the prosperity of the 1950s,

modernized its energy systems, infrastructure, and

architecture. To enhance these projects, the government

funded public art commissions by Venezuelan artists,

some of whom had studied in Europe, spurring the

growth of the geometric abstraction and kineticism


Although independent of these, Gego’s work

exemplified the visual risk and innovation characteristic

of Venezuelan art at mid-century. Her practice married

a language of structure with a sense of experimentation,

in works combining found materials typically pieced

together by hand. She also created drawings and prints

related to her sculpture series, beginning with the

room-sized Reticularea (1969), a delicate weblike net

of hand-knotted steel wires that surrounds the viewer.

In her subsequent Drawings without Paper series, each

sculpture hangs from the ceiling close to the wall, its

organic form composed of metal wires, strings, and

found detritus. The shadows cast by curling wires and

aluminum tubing echo the delicate movement of lines

drawn in space by the artist’s hand.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt), Venezuelan (Hamburg, Germany 1912 - 1994 Caracas, Venezuela)
Drawing without Paper 85/1
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Dibujo sin Papel 85/1
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1110, Modern and Contemporary Art, Mid–century Abstraction II
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Physical Descriptions

Wire, string, wood and aluminum tubes
73.7 × 94 × 8.9 cm (29 × 37 × 3 1/2 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Gego, created 1985, sold; to Private Collection, Venezuela (1985-2019), sold; through [Elrick-Manley Fine Art, New York]; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2020.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of John Cowles, by exchange; Francis H. Burr Memorial Fund; purchase through the generosity of Charlotte Wagner, and Estrellita Brodsky
© Fundación Gego
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • Eugenio Espinoza, Cinco/ochenta y cinco, exh. cat., Museo de Barquisimeto, Venezuela (Caracas, 1985), p. 1

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 1110 Mid-Century Abstraction II (Post-Painterly Abstraction), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/04/2021 - 01/01/2050

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at