Rupprecht Geiger (1908-2009)
Rupprecht Geiger, born in Munich in 1908, is the only child of the painter Willi Geiger. His family lived in Spain from 1924-1925 and travelled to the Canary Islands and Morocco. It is during this period that Geiger began to draw and paint with watercolour. In 1926, he began his studies of architecture, earning his diploma in 1935, and worked until he was conscripted in 1940 on the Eastern front. Thanks to his father, he became an illustrator of the war in the Ukraine from 1943-1944.
After his return to Munich following the conflict he resumed his work as an architect, all the while exhibiting his first abstract paintings in 1948 at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris. The following year saw the birth of the group ZEN 49, which he founded with Baumeister, Matschinsky-Denninghoff and Winter. His works were exhibited at the Museum for Non-Objective Painting, the precursor to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. It is only in the 1950s that he discovered his own style, developing coloured spaces without figuration in which, from 1957, forms in slight relief stand out against a flat, almost monochrome ground.
In 1962, he decided to devote himself entirely to painting. His works are characterised by simple geometric forms such as rectangles, crosses, circles, and ovals, of bright and vibrant contrasting colours.
In the 1960s, red and blue became the dominant colours of his large-format paintings. From 1967, the form of the compressed circle prevailed in Geiger’s paintings, replaced in the middle of the 1970s by shiny rectangles that seemed flat and weightless.
The 1980s saw the pre-eminence of the colour red, which the artist used in every possible manner upon canvas, while the 1990s are characterised by paintings of unusual formats showing multiple variations on geometric shapes.
Rupprecht Geiger was appointed professor at Staatliche Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf
the fine art academy, from 1965 until 1976. He participated in numerous international exhibitions including four times at Documenta in Kassel, Germany. He is represented in the collections of Dombergmuseum in Freisen, and remains one of the major German figures of abstract art and colour-field painting.
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