Kendell Geers

Kendell Geers is a pivotal figure in contemporary African art, whose powerful works explore themes of identity, resistance, and the complex legacies of history. Born in apartheid-era South Africa, Geers’s journey from a working-class family to an artist in exile has profoundly shaped his unique artistic language, defying simple categorization.

 

With a practice rooted in a deep engagement with his identity as a white African, Geers’s oeuvre stands as a testament to his enduring commitment to grappling with the intricacies of race, power, and social justice. His works challenge viewers to confront uncomfortable truths and question preconceived notions, offering a nuanced and thought-provoking exploration of the human experience.

 

Geers gained international recognition early in his career, with notable participation in the 1997 Johannesburg Biennale and Documenta 11 in 2002, curated by the esteemed Okwui Enwezor. In 2013, Enwezor further cemented Geers’ significance by curating his retrospective at the prestigious Haus der Kunst in Munich. Now based in Brussels, Geers continues to push artistic boundaries, creating works that resonate globally while remaining firmly rooted in his African identity and experiences.

 

 

Other notable solo and curated exhibitions include venues such as the Bozar (Brussels), Smak (Ghent), Migros Museum (Zurich), de Pury & Luxembourg (Zurich), Aspen Art Museum, Stephen Friedman Gallery (London), Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg), Salon 94 (New York), Carpenters Workshop Gallery (Paris), Galleria Continua (Beijing and San Gimignano), Ron Mandos Gallery (Amsterdam), The Cleveland Museum of Art.

 

Geers’s contributions have also been highlighted in major international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (2022, 2019, 2017, 2011, 2007, 2003, 1993), Documenta (2017, 2002), Shanghai Biennale (2016), Taipei Biennial (2000), Villa Medici (2002), Performa New York (2017),  Istanbul Biennial (2003), Johannesburg Biennial (1995, 1997), Carnegie International (1999) and Bienal de São Paulo (2010), among others. 

 

Kendell Geers is represented in several prominent public collections worldwide, such as the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Yvon Lambert Collection (Avignon), Konsthall (Stockholm), MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century (Rome), The EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens), Chicago Art Institute, illustrating his significant impact on the contemporary art landscape.

 


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Selected Works

Exhibitions