GEGO AS A WEAVER, GEGO AS AN ARCHITECT OF SPACE

Like a meticulous and careful spider, the importance of manual work in Gego's pieces unfolds before our eyes and conveys ideas of deep meaning, such as the value of patience, contemplation, the observation of life in its many facets, the relationship with others, the cooperation. The simple approach of using metal segments as connectors between nodes and weaving huge interconnected networks, occupying a physical space, encloses a substantial visual and discourse load.

Reticulárea, 1969. Fine Arte Museum, Caracas. Photo Paolo Gasparini, Fundación Gego Archive

This German artist, based in Venezuela since she left her home country during World War II, began to develop her own language in the 1960s. In her work, it is evident the great influence of her training as an engineer, with a mention in architecture, studies that she concluded in 1938 at the University of Stuttgart. As Gertrud Goldschmidt, her real name, she developed her career in the world of design and architecture. She created a company dedicated to the manufacture of furniture and lamps and got involved in urban design projects with residential houses in Los Chorros, Quintas El Urape and Tulipán.

But since the late 50s, Gertrud ceases to be Gertrud and begins to be Gego. The take-off of her artistic career coincides with a turn in her personal life when, after having divorced her first husband in 1952, she meets her life partner for the rest of her days: Gerd Leufert. In the early years, her work becomes more landscape, expressionist and figurative; but soon she begins to explore concepts that interest her especially, such as the three-dimensional configuration of the works, at which time she establishes a relationship of friendship and mutual exchange with sculptors such as Alejandro Otero and Jesús Soto. In this period, called "Parallel Lines", the influence of geometric trends and kinetic art becomes palpable in many of her works, as with the piece "Sphere", which produces a surprising sensation of movement when one goes around it.





It was always crucial for Gego to include a spatial aspect in her work. Some of her most famous works belong to the well-known period of "Reticle-areas, Trunks and Spheres", which began in 1969. That's when the artist abandons rigid materials and begins to weave her nets in a flexible way using adaptable materials, and embraces new formats, always starting from pure forms, but open to the modification of patterns.

The undoubted influence of this artist on the kinetic movement and three-dimensional geometric art is undeniable. This has led the director Montenegro & Lafont to create 17 micro-documentaries with testimonials from personalities who know and value her work to offer us a more intimate vision of the author, a project entitled “fg conversations”. After she died in 1994, her family created the Gego Foundation, which has collaborated intensely on this proposal.

Gego in her studio, Caracas, ca. 1982, Fundación Gego Archive

With several exhibitions to open at the São Paulo Museum of Art, the Jumex Museum in Mexico City, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona and the Guggenheim in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum organises a session to display the documentaries and open debate around the work of this artist, with the participation of Yayo Aznar (architect) and Guillermo Barrios (art historian), and presented by the curator and historian Federica Palomero. “Links in/about Gego”, Monday, October 14th, 2019 - 7:00 p.m. / Sabatini Building, Auditorium.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Master Cheese Tuner, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.