Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Top 2 of 2014

I have lost count. Anyway, who's counting?

A while ago, I was mooching about the Tate Modern when I came across a sculpture (though it turned out the artist didn't like to call them sculptures - 'Never what I do' she declared).

I'd been thinking about making something with a light, sketchy metal frame and this was just what I had in mind.   It was an artist called Gego but I didn't know much about her or him.

I took some rubbish pictures and showed them to the metalwork teacher, who recognised the work and the artist straight away.  

He showed me a way to link metal using hooks and eyes but it wasn't the same as the model in the Tate. I wanted it to stand up by itself, not dangle.


 I went back to the Tate but they'd reorganised and the work had vanished.

But then lo! There was Radical Geometries at the Royal Academy, a great retrospective of South American modern art from the thirties to the fifties - and lo, there was a whole entire room of Gego's work, and more information about her. I really fell in love.

Her real name was Gertrud Goldschmidt. She'd trained as an architect in her homeland of Germany, but had to leave to escape the Nazis, and made a new life in Venezeula.

She worked as an architect, but gradually became interested in drawing lines for their own sake, and not just to create a blueprint for a structure. She moved in and out of 2D and 3D, playing with the lines.

In Venezuela and in South American she was a superstar artist, with her own art museum, but is not so well known in Europe. I think there has been an effort this year to rescue her from obscurity here, which I heartily approve.

Because looking for her work online, I found that there was a whole entire exhibition devoted to her on right now, this very year, which had travelled all the way from Caracas to Hamburg to the UK. Not London, for a change, but Leeds.  At the Henry Moore Institute.

So we visited it, and were blown away.

I'm so glad to have found such an inspirational role model.

Check out more pictures of her work here.

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