Art | Gego: Line as Object – an exhibition with a delicately industrial feel

Image: Henry Moore Institute

The Henry Moore Institute present the first solo exhibition of Gego, a Venezuelan artist fascinated by using line as object, blurring the mediums of drawing and sculpture. The exhibition takes a selection of the artist’s work spanning 34 years and presents a small but interesting exhibition of her pieces, taking us through her experimentation with material, shape and form.

The first section of the exhibition displays smaller works in the series Drawings without Paper, where stainless steel wire and other metallic cables are twisted and coiled together then flattened onto the gallery walls. The result is semi-three-dimensional pieces resembling television aerials or mechanical microchip wirings, simplistic line drawings without paper.

As you move through the exhibition Gego’s work becomes more sculptural. One of her first pieces, Vibration in Black, slowly swings while hanging from the ceiling, the painted aluminium twists catching movement in the air, the sweeping curves blurring each other, almost kaleidoscopic. In her other pieces triangles of twisted wire are hooked to make hexagonal globes attached together, reminiscent of some sort of extruded chemistry sculpture, atoms fused together. The stacked towers of these fine wire triangles allude to Gego’s architectural training, the shapes fragile in material but structurally robust.

The exhibition has a delicately industrial feel, each piece mathematically precise, works that would not be out of place in a science museum. Alongside the three-dimensional works the Henry Moore Institute have placed equally geometric watercolour paintings and Gego’s preliminary sketches, displaying the imagery behind her larger works. One wall contains about ten small photographs of the sculptural works sliced and intricately woven flat into brightly coloured and detailed pictures.

The exhibition is beautiful, and the robust yet delicate sculptures fascinating, an exhibition arranged to illustrate the development of Gego’s techniques and her style. I would highly recommend popping down to have a look between lectures; the calming gallery environment provides a delightful escape from the library.

Graeme du Plessis

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