Phillip Geiger says that he does not intend for his paintings to carry a narrative, but a narrative element is often implied by the posed subjects that inhabit his room interiors.
His interiors are at once quiet and lively, calm and energetic. It is in his treatment of light and painterly handling that Geiger conveys energy. The confident application of paint and contrasts of tone and color, along with the play of light, bring almost every surface alive in his otherwise subdued domestic scenes.
The people seem almost like still life elements at times, appreciated for their form, texture and color rather than for their personality, and are often shown from behind or in other positions where viewer interaction with them is de-emphasized and replaced with the viewer as observer.
Though the interiors are of modest houses, they are older and often provide rich contrasts of color and tone in the woodwork of door and window framing, variations in the color of painted walls and degrees of lighting from room to room and frequently direct patches of sunlight across wood floors or illumination from lamps within the scene.
I’ve seen Geiger compared with intimists like Vuillard and Fairfiled Porter, and he lists his own influences as Vermeer, Degas, Corot and Hopper; but the painter that springs to mind for me is Edmund Tarbell, whose quiet interiors were also alive with rich colors, lively paint textures and the suggestion of narrative within the calm posing of figures.
In Tarbell’s case, the figures were members of his family, Geiger uses paid models to populate his interiors.
Geiger is a member of the faculty of the Studio Art Department of the University of Virginia, where he teaches drawing and painting. I can’t find a dedicated site for him, but he is represented by the Tibor DeNagy Gallery in New York and the Renyolds Gallery in Richmond.
Unfortunately, the Tibor DeNagy gallery is frames, apparently to defeat any chance of people letting each other know about a particular artist by linking directly to them (what are the designers and clients who make these decisions thinking?), so I can’t give you a direct link. The Renyolds fares better, but the images are frustratingly small and few.
I’ve found a few other resources, notably on Painting Perceptions and Indiana University School of Fine Arts (click for larger versions).
Tibor DeNagy Gallery
Indiana University School of Fine Arts
University of Virginia (brief bio)
6 Replies to “Philip Geiger”
Oh thanks for sharing this artist! I love his work!
Beautiful use of light in these paintings!
I am almost always disappointed when an artist who is this good does not have his or her own website. The gallery sites seldom measure up, either in number or size of images by the artist in question. A genuine frustration for those of us who are interested.
But yes, another find, Charley, and an artist worth watching.
Thank you for highlighting yet another wonderful artist. And may I also applaud your comment:
Unfortunately, the Tibor DeNagy gallery is frames, apparently to defeat any chance of people letting each other know about a particular artist by linking directly to them (what are the designers and clients who make these decisions thinking?)
Thanks. If you like that, see my snarkfest on How NOT to Display Your Artwork on the Web.
I love the way his art feels – I think it’s the amazing wood flooring.
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