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Symposium: Gego at One Hundred Years

Americas Society

November 09, 2012
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Gego installing her Reticulárea at the Center of Inter-American Relations in 1969.

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“Gego at One Hundred Years” will bring together a select group of art historians, cultural critics, and curators to explore the historical relevance of Gego’s art at the centenary of her birth. What is the relationship between Gego’s early kinetic sculpture and the widely held belief in technological progress that in Venezuela was fueled by the oil and construction boom of 1950s and 60s? How did the context affect her decision to become a practicing artist? More broadly, what is the nature of the relationship between Gego’s early training in architecture and engineering and the constructivist-based sculpture (e.g., the series of Reticuláreas) that she later went on to develop? And to what extent did her unique position as a European woman émigré of Jewish descent affect her artistic production in Venezuela? This symposium will explore these and other issues in order to assess the historical importance of Gego’s art as well as the degree to which it continues to resonate in the present.

Speakers:

Session 1

  • Mónica Amor, Assistant Professor of Art History, Maryland Institute College of Art. Presentation: "Weaving the Space In-Between."
  • Nuit Banai, Professor, Visual and Critical Studies, Tufts University. Presentation: "Gego Against the Grain: A Triangulated Modernism, a Subject in Exile."
  • Sylvia Cedeño, Founder, Pogodesign. Presentation: "Mapping Endlessness: A glimpse into the installation and documentation processes of the 'Reticulárea,' Sala Gego, MBA, Caracas, Venezuela."

Session 2

  • Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Romance Studies, Cornell University. Presentation: "Notes Toward an Interpretation of Gego's Sabiduras."
  • Hannia Gómez, President, Fundacion de la Memoria Urbana, Founder and Vice President of Docomomo Venezuela, and former Curator of Gio Ponti’s Villa Planchart. Presentation: "An Endless Architecture."
  • Catherine de Zegher, Curator of the Eighteenth Sydney Biennale (2012), the Fifth Moscow Biennale (2013) and the Australian Pavilion in the Fifty-Fifth Venice Biennale (2013). Presentation: "Gego'’s Tangible Tracings of Space-Time."

Download a PDF about the event in English and Spanish.

The one-day symposium is co-sponsored by Columbia University’s Department of Art History and Archaeology, the Institute for the Study of Latin American Art, and Americas Society. The proceedings will be introduced by Gabriela Rangel, director of visual arts at Americas Society, and moderated by Alexander Alberro, Virginia Bloedel Wright professor of art history at Barnard College and Columbia University.

Learn more about the Gego exhibition.