Corniza II #37 from 1988 is intimately related to both Gegos Chorros from the 1970s, and her Bichos from the 1980s. The Chorros signified a radical gesture in Gegos sculptural practice. They follow similar concerns explored by the Reticularea, Gegos seminal piece from 1969, in their commitment to an environmental setting in which the viewer confronts a situation instead of an object.
Indeed, it is as environments that Gego chose to show her Chorros when she exhibited with Betty Parsons in New York in 1971. She placed these vertically from the ceiling, one next to the other, they zigzagged down to the floor. The effect was of abundance and accumulation, masses of light cascading towards the floor that contrasted with the clearly structured objects that characterized Gegos work of the 1950s.
This preoccupation with contingency, arbitrariness, and chance, comes back in the 1980s when Gego stars her series of Bichos, delicate and fragile works in which the line--Gego's lifetime obsession--interacts with residual materials like springs, meshes of metal, bugle beads, chains, cables, etc. In Corniza II, Gego chose to experiment with wire, plastic, and lead. The result is an incredibly subtle structure which combines delicate vertical lines with clusters of metal that recall rare and surprising moments of energy-gone-mad in her Reticularea of 1969. While a lighter structure than her Chorros, and more symmetrical than her Bichos, Corniza II is emblematic of how Gego was capable of redefining the whole idea of structure with a very simple gesture.
Clearly connected to what one could argue are her more important pieces: Reticularea and Chorros, this piece embodies issues relevant to Gegos work and the sculpture of her time. Like the work of Lygia Clark in Brazil, and that of Eva Hesse in the United States, that of Gego embraces precariousness as an artistic method that works against the grain of the monumental sculptural practice of contemporary male colleagues.
We are grateful to Monica Amor for writing the essay for the present lot and to the Fundacion Gego for assistance in cataloguing.