Ruth Vollmer & Gego

Thinking the Line

03.07.-29.07.2004 10:00-18:00

Opening: Friday, July 2nd 2004
Curated by: Peter Weibel, Leiter des ZKM Karlsruhe, Nadja Rottner, Kunsthistorikerin, Columbia University, New York

Although there is no evidence that the two were close friends, or that they had any direct artistic impact on one another, Ruth Vollmer and Gego did share one vital link: New York.



Ruth Vollmer (1903 Munich - 1982 New York), an artist from Betty Parsons Gallery, was closely associated with Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson and Eva Hesse. And while Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912 Hamburg - 1994 Caracas) lived and worked in Venezuela, it was the New York art scene into which both of these German-born artists fused their continental background, adding fuel to the American interest in alternative models of abstraction.


Playing on the relationship between hollow and solid, transparent and opaque, convex and concave, the works of Vollmer and Gego reconjugate the three-dimensional vocabulary of geometric abstraction. Instead of employing a deductive logic of modernist abstraction, the artists develop a potentially-unfinished type of abstract thinking which transforms "content-less art" into an ongoing experiment of "thinking the line". As such, the interplay of sphere, circle, dot and spiral, actively seeks a Cartesian centre, a fixed structure. In the case of Vollmer, this search results in a concentration of form, and for Gego, in a dispersal that evokes a lasting sensation of dizziness, the confusion of an empty center. Negotiating the border between mathematical formalism (Vollmer) and expressive minimalism (Gego), each artist introduces a novel field of participation for the spectator.


For the first time in Austria the Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum presents over 140 works of drawing and sculpture from the late 1950s to the late 1980s. A monographic catalogue for each of the artists will be published in the Autumn of 2004 / Spring 2005.


Co-production with: ZKM Centre for Art and Media Technology, Karlsruhe
Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal



A monographic catalogue for each of the artists will be published in the Autumn of 2004 / Spring 2005.


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