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Basic Data

Rupprecht Geiger was one of the main representatives of abstract painting in Germany. No other German artist dealt with the subject of color like Geiger. As professor at Staatliche Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf, he was one of eminently respectable German artists and taught next to artists such as Gerhard Richter, Karl Otto Götz und Joseph Beuys.

  • Born: 26 January 1908
  • Place of birth: Munich, Bavaria
  • Died on: 6 December 2009
  • Nationality: German
  • Studied at: Kunstgewerbeschule Munich, doctrine of bricklayer, Staatsbauschule
  • Stylistic direction: Abstract painting, architecture

Geiger dealt predominantly with the reduction of the painted theme. He worked with various materials such as wood and dedicated his work to the color red. For him it was important not to reveal the subject of the picture to the viewer, but to place the color in focus. He was an artist and architect, and coined many public spaces with his works.

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Rupprecht Geiger Print Lithograph Composition
Rupprecht Geiger Print Lithograph Composition
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Childhood and studies

Rupprecht Geiger was born on January 26, 1908 in Munich. He was the only son of the painter and graphic artist Willi Geiger. Through his father, he grew up with art. In Munich, the artist spent his first years of life until the family relocated. In 1923 they moved to Madrid to establish a new existence, but after a short while they moved back to Munich. Geiger lived next to Germany also in Spain and Italy.

After completing his education Geiger began in 1926 to study architecture at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich under the direction of Eduard Pfeiffer, which he completed in 1929. In those days it was common, in addition to architectural studies to complete an apprenticeship. Between 1930 and 1932 Geiger became a bricklayer in Munich. In order to deepen his fields of interest, such as engineering and statics, he added another study of Architecture between 1933 and 1935.


Military service

In 1940 Geiger was called up for military service. As Geiger fostered stronger aversions against Nazism, he was assigned to the technical service. First, he was stationed in Landsberg am Lech, however he was later transferred to the Eastern Front to Poland and then to Vyazma in Russia. Influenced by the atrocities of war, Geiger painted his first watercolors. To capture his experiences he wrote a wartime diary, in which he also talked about the impressive colors that he had seen during this period in the different landscapes. In addition to remember all his impressions he made sketches and drawings.

Through contacts of his father, Geiger became a war painter in the Ukraine. There he continued to paint landscapes and still lives. Shortly afterwards, he was stationed in Greece.


Postwar-period and work as an architect

After World War II Geiger could at first not work as an architect and deepened his works on abstract paintings. In 1945 he participated in a group-exhibition. Later, from 1949 he was able to work as an independent architect. He and his wife Monika worked together as architects until 1962. At the beginning of the 1950s the popularity of Geiger increased. He received numerous commissions to design public spaces. So he designed the facade of the Munich main station in 1951. In 1953 he had his first solo-exhibition at Galerie Otto Stangl. Through his popularity Geiger could also be active as an architect for private houses.


Teaching activity

Geiger wanted to work as a professor in Munich, but they did not hire him. Later, between 1965 and 1976, he started as a professor at Staatliche Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf. There he was the colleague of artists like Karl Otto Götz, Gerhard Richter und Joseph Beuys. He was part of the most influential German artists.






Current exhibitions

  • 04 October 2015 – 10 January 2016 Shades of Black – Franz Mark Museum, Kochel


Past exhibitions

  • 2015 Von Ackermann bis Zabotin. Die Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe zu Gast im ZKM – ZKM, Karlsruhe
  • 2014 Geist und Materie – Kunstvereinein, Ulm
  • 2013 das absolute bild – Kunsthalle Göppingen
  • 2012 Rupprecht Geiger, Shannon Finley. LICHT – Walter Storms Galerie, Munich
  • 2011 Meisterwerke der Druckgrafik. Von Ackermann bis Warhol – Galerie Janisch, Stuttgart
  • 2010 Rupprecht Geiger – Galerie Walzinger, Saarlouis
  • 2009 SECHZIG JAHRE. SECHZIG WERKE. Kunst aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland – Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
  • 2008 Rot ist Schön – Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen
  • 2008 100 Jahre Rupprecht Geiger – Neue National Galerie, Berlin
  • 2007 Malerei, Serigrafien, Modelle und Collagen aus sieben Jahrzehnten. Retrospektive – Städtische Galerie Lehnbachhaus
  • 2006 Das Bauhaus und seine Folgen 1: Rupprecht Geiger/Norbert Kricke. Die Einheit von Raum und Zeit – Neues Museum, Weimar
  • 2005 Geist und Materie – Mies van der Rohe Haus, Berlin
  • 2003 Die Welt der Zahlen und Buchstaben – Edith Wahlandt Galerie, Stuttgart
  • 2002 BLICKPUNKTE. Deutsche Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert – Galerie Neher, Dusseldorf
  • 2000 Morgen Rot Abend Rot – Spitalkirche Heiliggeist, Landshut
  • 1999 Die Musik ist wie die Malerei – Galerie Katrin Rabus, Bremen
  • 1998 Rot Gelb Blau – Lehnbachhaus, Munich
  • 1995 Farbe als Botschaft – Diözesanmuseum, Freising
  • 1994 Rupprecht Geiger – Russisches Museum, St. Petersburg
  • 1992 La couleur est élément: œuvres depuis 1945 – Hôtel des Arts, Paris
  • 1988 Haus der Kunst, Munich
  • 1985 Retrospektive – Akademie der Künste, Berlin
  • 1982 Druckgrafik und Zeichnungen – Kunsthalle Mannheim
  • 1978 Gemälde und Zeichnungen – Lehnbachhaus, Munich
  • 1977 documenta 6, Kassel
  • 1975 Element Rot – Museum Folkwang, Essen
  • 1974 Geplante Malerei – Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster
  • 1968 Aktuelle Kunst der 60er Jahre – documenta 4, Kassel
  • 1966 Gemälde und Zeichnungen von 1956 bis 1966 – Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
  • 1964 Das grafische Werk – Stadthalle Wolfsburg
  • 1960 Galleria La Medusa, Rome
  • 1957 Peintures – Galeire Iris Clert, Paris
  • 1956 Galerie Samlaren, Stockholm
  • 1955 Glanz und Gestalt. Ungegenständliche Deutsche Kunst – Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden
  • 1953 Bilder – Galerie der Spiegel, Cologne



  • 1992 8. Rubenspreis der Stadt Siegen
  • 1988 Kunstpreis Berlin, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
  • 1986 Goldmedaille, 8. International Grafik-Biennale, Fredrikstad
  • 1968 Burda-Preis, Munich
  • 1958 Preis der 1. Triennale Originaldruckgrafik, Grenchen
  • 1951 Domnick-Preis der Staatsgalerie Stuttgart



  • Rupprecht Geiger. Maler, Tilman Urbach/Archiv Geiger, Munich 2010.
  • Rupprecht Geiger. Videoportrait, Bernhard Dörries, Germany 1984, ’45.



  • Rupprecht Geiger. Maler, published by Archiv Geiger, Munich 2010.
  • 100 Jahre Rupprecht Geiger, exhibition catalogue, Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Berlin 2008.
  • Die Einheit von Raum und Zeit. Rupprecht Geiger, exhibition catalogue, Klassik-Stiftung Weimar, Weimar 2006.
  • Rupprecht Geiger, exhibition catalogue, Lehnbachhaus München, Munich 2007.
  • Rupprecht Geiger. Geist und Materie, exhibition catalogue, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Haus Berlin, Munich 2005.
  • Rupprecht Geiger. Gemälde und Objekte, published by the Rupprecht-Geiger-Gesellschaft, Munich 2003.
  • Schwarz und Rot. Zur Autonomie der Farbe, Roland Bothner, Mössingen-Talheim 1999.
  • Rupprecht Geiger, exhibition catalogue, Russian Museum St. Petersburg; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Ostfildern 1994.