Detailed biography 1999-2009

In his old age, Rupprecht Geiger continues to receive important commissions for works in public spaces: in 1999 he conceives a kind of frieze for a Protocol room in the Reichstag building of the German Bundestag in Berlin. Also with modulations from yellow to orange he designs the Company entrance area of WWK Versicherungen in Munich. A room-related work from the same year attracts a lot of attention: In the Heiliggeistkirche in Landshut, Rupprecht Geiger shows two monumental flags painted on both sides in the colors of Yellow 'Morning Red' and Red 'Evening Red. In 2002 he is invited to represent Germany at the XXV Bienal de São Paulo in Brazil: For this he designs a room installation consisting of four large-format canvases, one of the last highlights in his artistic oeuvre.

Rupprecht Geiger im Atelier, München 2004; Foto: Norbert Schmalen, Dierdorf
Rupprecht Geiger in his studio, Munich 2004; Photo: Norbert Schmalen, Dierdorf

From the mid-nineties onwards, Rupprecht Geiger has been working with a new medium, collages, in addition to his paintings, drawings and printmaking. At first, he collages colored pieces of paper and cardboard in two-dimensional, mosaic-like works. Gradually he moves into three-dimensionality, using a wide variety of found objects collected over the years: Fabric scraps, plastic sheets, pieces of wood, metal plates, dried paint pigments and other materials are used.

"At the moment I am particularly concerned with the color expression of the amorphous in the dead material of nature. Its colorlessness and withdrawal from the general colorful appearance is for me an interesting antithesis to the vividness of color, to luminous color, especially my luminous colors. Matter versus spirit."
(In an interview 11/14/1997, p. 13)

The work with the matter leads to the emergence of the small group of works 'Mind and Matter' from 2003 and 2004, another highlight in Geiger's late work. In these paintings, he leaves part of the canvas unprimed, contrasting its raw, gray character with the color. This group of works once again testifies to the artist's extraordinary vitality: he was over 95 years old when they were created.

On the occasion of his 95th birthday, the 'Catalogue raisonné 1942-2002' is published. This was preceded in 1999 by the founding of the Rupprecht-Geiger-Gesellschaft, Verein zur Förderung des Werks von Rupprecht Geiger e. V., based at the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, and by many years of work on the elaborate publication by art historian Pia Dornacher and art history student Julia Geiger. In addition to information and illustrations on more than 900 paintings and objects, it includes a detailed chapter on architecture-related art. In 2007, a first supplement to the catalog raisonné will be published, as well as the 'Catalogue raisonné of prints 1948-2007'.

The year 2007 is mainly characterized by the preparations for the numerous exhibitions on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Rupprecht Geiger. But a sad event also casts its shadow: Monika Geiger takes her leave after many years of illness. For more than 70 years she was not only Wife and faithful companion, but supported her husband wherever she could.

The Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich kicks off the celebrations and exhibitions marking the artist's 100th birthday with a much-visited and admired retrospective. In addition to an exclusive selection of paintings, prints and models, the public will also be shown a number of collages for the first time. The 'Red Drum' as well as the two banners 'Morning Red' and 'Evening Red' at the Haus der Kunst in Munich complement this overall overview. In the summer, the retrospective goes to the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Siegen. The German capital is also dedicating an exciting solo exhibition to the artist in the rooms of the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin.

Despite the numerous tributes, Rupprecht Geiger does not consider himself to have reached the end of his artistic work. He continues to go to his studio for a few hours every day and work on various projects. He will make the journey to his workplace day after day until shortly before his death, on December 6, 2009, in order to recharge his batteries there, surrounded by his expressive colors.

Author: Julia Geiger