Lot 19
  • 19

Mathias Goeritz (1915-1990)

80,000 - 120,000 USD
87,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Mathias Goeritz
  • La Serpiente de El Eco (una versión)
  • painted steel


Private Collection, Israel
Private Collection, Mexico

Catalogue Note

In 1953, just four years after arriving in Mexico, Mathias Goeritz launched into the world of architecture, creating an environment whose originality has been acknowledged by all – the radically designed Museo Experimental El Eco (the Echo). The building was created as a visionary interdisciplinary space for the arts under the patronage of Mexican businessman Daniel Mont, who gave Goeritz a free creative hand.

In El Eco, the architectural elements became, through their scale and placement, sculptures themselves. Goeritz isolated areas by the use of walls of differing height, intensifying perspective through the placement of walls and brilliant use of color. In the center of this irregularly formed building, is a courtyard where Goeritz created a monumental sculpture to interact with the edifice called La Serpiente de El Eco (The Serpent of the Echo).

El Eco became a mecca for artists both visiting and working in Mexico. Henry Moore planned a mural which was executed by Soto Sora. Carlos Mérida, German Cueto, all collaborated on projects for the space. Luis Buñuel acted as choreographer for the opening events. Katherine Dunham created a ballet where the dancers of Walter Nick’s troupe weaved amongst the spaces and sculpture.

Goeritz created a series of variations on the sculpture where the shape of the serpent rises and falls with varying thickness and thinness. In the present work, the shape is elongated with a refined vivacious movement. La Serpiente de El Eco was a decade ahead of the a strong trend in Twentieth Century art: minimalism. The work has been recognized as such in Gregory Battcock’s book, Minimal Art and Beyond Modern Sculpture by Jack Burnham, both published in 1968.

Dr. Lily Kassner, Mexico, March 2014