BIOGRAPHYKendell Geers was born in South Africa and now lives and works in Brussels. At the 1993 Venice Biennial he officially changed his date of birth to May 1968, a momentous year in world history for human liberation and equality.
Geers creates work that aims to disrupt commonly accepted moral codes and principles. Employing a wide range of references- from the realms of history of art, pornography, iconography and kitsch- Geers questions artistic value and mocks the notion of originality. His work reveals razor-sharp humour that plays with the viewer's repulsion and ridicules racial or religious stereotypes. Laden with complex and deep political implications, it is challenging and confrontational. At the same time, Geers' minimalist aesthetics generate a subtle poetic undertone. His use of language, ready-mades, neon, glass, icons, film, chevron tape and other objects confront the viewer head on. They often startle the eye and require a degree of interrogation from the spectator.
Kendell Geers has exhibited extensively around the world with a recent major retrospective of his work ‘Kendell Geers 1988-2012' taking place at Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2013). Other notable solo exhibitions include; ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell', Chateau Blandy-les-Tours, Melun, Paris, France (2012); National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2010); ‘GUEST + A HOST = A GHOST', Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2010-2009); ‘Irrespektiv', Musée d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, France (2009); ‘REAM', Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA (2009); ‘Not Something Else', Tomio Koyama Gallery, Kyoto, Japan (2009); ‘Monsters and Stuff', Gagosian Gallery, London, England (2008) and ‘Hung, Drawn and Quartered', Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, USA; toured to Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA (2005).
Notable group exhibitions include; ‘The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists', Frankfurt MMK, Frankfurt, Germany; touring to SCAD Museum of Art, Georgia, USA; Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, USA; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Correo Venezia, Venice; Hayward Gallery, London, England (2015-2014); ‘Slow Future', Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek, Poland (2014); ‘INSERT 2014: a cultural exploration of Delhi as a landscape for creativity and transformation', Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, India (2014); ‘Ruffneck Constructivists', ICA, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (2014); ‘The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Hell, Purgatory revisited by Contemporary African Artists', curated by Simon Njami, Frankfurt MMK, Frankfurt, Germany; travels to Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, USA; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Correo Venezia, Venice; Hayward Gallery, London, England (2014); ‘My Joburg', La Maison Rouge, Paris, France (2013); ‘Artificial Amsterdam', de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2013); ‘Sex, Money and Power', Maison Particulière, Brussels, Belgium (2013); ‘The Progress of Love', The Menil Collection, Texas, USA (2013-2012); ‘Mexico: Expected/Unexpected', Katzen Arts Centre, Washington D.C., USA (2012); ‘No Government No Cry', a project by Kendell Geers, CIAP Actuele Kunst, Hasselt, Belgium (2011); ‘Contemplating the Void', Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2010) and ‘Wall Rockets: Contemporary Artists and Ed Ruscha', The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, USA (2008).
Geers' works are included in prominent collections internationally, including the ArtPace, Texas, USA; Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, USA, FNAC, Paris, France, Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden and Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden.