Rupprecht Geiger Biography

Rupprecht Geiger




Painter, printmaker, architect, and teacher Rupprecht Geiger was born in Munich, Germany, on January 26, 1908. The son of artist Willi Geiger, he was encouraged in the arts from an early age. He enrolled in the Munich School of Applied Arts in 1926 where he studied architecture until 1929, when he took a break from school to apprentice as a bricklayer from 1930 to 1932. He then returned to school at the Munich State building School from 1933 to 1935. 

Beginning in 1936 Geiger worked various jobs at architecture firms in Munich until the war, when he was drafted to the Eastern Front with the German Army. He spent what little spare time he had teaching himself to paint, which led to a position as a war artist in the Ukraine and Greece. With the end of the war, he continued to paint and participated in his first exhibition in 1948.

Geiger began working as an architect in 1949, the same year that he fco-founded ZEN 49, a Munich-based abstract artists' collective that focused on non-representational art. By the 1950s his style had taken on the theme of color study, with works in sculpture, print, and paint focusing on one color at a time, presented in simplified shapes that featured elements of intense contrast. In 1962 he abandoned his architectural career to focus entirely on art and teaching, and from 1965 to 1976 he was professor of painting at the Kunstacademie Dusseldorf.

Among the awards earned in his career are the Kultureller Ehrenpreis der Landeshauptstadt Munchen (1989); the Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen (1992); teh Oberbayerischer Kulturpreis (1995); and the Goldene Ehrenmunze der Landeshauptstadt Munchen. He participated in the major German exhibition Documenta II, III, IV, and VI. In 2008, in celebration of the artist's 100th birthday, a retrospective of his work was held at the Edith Wahlandt Gallery where Geiger had been represented since the early 1970s.

Geiger died in Dusseldorf in 2009.