Lot 46
  • 46

Gego (1912-1994)

320,000 - 380,000 USD
372,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Gego
  • Dibujo sin papel
  • metal wire and thread construction


Eugenio Espinosa (acquired from the artist circa 1987)
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Latin American Art, November 20, 2000, lot 53, illustrated in color
Private Collection, New York
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Latin American Art, May 23, 2012, lot 33, illustrated in color
Private Collection, New York

Catalogue Note

The presence of the grid as a geometric and modular foundation of modern thought is at the core of a myriad of disciplines. The Renaissance artist used it to produce a fictitious binary space for our eyes; the architect and the engineer use it when they need to formulate concrete objects; the geographer uses it when he must locate a point on the planet or draw the winding border of the continents. In a general manner therefore, all discipline that requires a precise system of coordinates appeals to the grid to organize its data.   

Most significant however is the manner in which a visual artist can employ the grid. Surely, the insertion of a grid is never an innocent event. Its very existence is revealing; especially when it is introduced by one of those artists who, like the Venezuelan Gego, have transcended its physical manipulation into a way of thinking.

This Dibujo sin papel of 1985 is one of the most eloquent and representative examples of this series; a seminal work whose elegance transgresses the elemental nature of drawing and its ostensible geometry: the line, the point, and of course, the orthogonal grid. Once a drawing materializes in space and is unencumbered by paper, the artist invokes the viewer to reflect on the distance between conception and materialization; between ideas and facts. If for the geometer, a line is nothing more than the distance between two points, and the point nothing more than the crossroad of two lines in space; for the plastic artist, every line generates a thickness, no matter its size; just like every line has a measurable impact on the world.

To materialize that grid of irregular structures; to fold it, break it, manipulate it and render it malleable, pliable to human hands is to awaken our own sensibility for the particular, for that which exists here and now; beyond generalizations. It is to invoke not only a thought process that occupies itself with the efficiency of the materials we insert into the world but also for their inevitable impact. For it is not enough to invent the machine that multiples our transformative power over matter. We must also direct our attention to its outcome, which is as we know, often times devastating.

For this reason, Dibujo sin papel is a reflection of intellect made visible, an idea transmuted into form and one of the most beautiful objects created in our time.   

Ariel Jiménez
Art historian and curator of modern and contemporary art