Born into a working-class Afrikaans family during the height of Apartheid, Kendell Geers quickly found himself fighting a Crime Against Humanity on the front lines of activism and protest.
From his strong experiences as a revolutionary, he developed a psycho-social-political practice that held ethics and aesthetics to be opposite sides of the very same coin, spinning upon the tables of history.
In his hands, the discourse of art history is interrogated, languages of power and ideological codes subverted, expectations smashed and belief systems transformed into aesthetic codes.
Describing himself as an AniMystikAktivist, Kendell Geers’ work embodies a syncretic approach that weaves together diverse Afro-European traditions from Animism and Activism, to Alchemy, Mysticism and Ritual Magick.
His strategies are without compromise because he believes that “Art changes the world – one perception at a time.”
Kendell Geers had a major retrospective of his work, ‘Kendell Geers 1988-2012′, at Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany in 2013. He participated in Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany in 2017.
Notable solo exhibitions include: ‘THE SECOND COMING (Do What Though Wilst)’, Rui Red, Dublin, ‘#iPROtesttHEReforeIam’, ADN Galeria, Barcelona, Spain (2019); ‘Voetstoots’, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2018); ‘AfroPunk’, Rodolphe Janssen and Galerie Didier Claes, Brussels, Belgium (2017); ‘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’; ‘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: ‘Believe’, MOCA, Toronto, Canada (2018-2019); ‘Talisman in the Age of Difference’, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (2018); ‘Surrogates’, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2018); ‘The Road to Justice’, MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2018); ‘Bric-à-Brac – The Jumble of Growth’, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy (2018); ‘Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flanerie’, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, USA (2017); ‘All Things Being Equal…’, Zeitz MOCCA, Cape Town, South Africa (2017); ‘Punk Its Traces in Contemporary Art’, MACBA, Barcelona, Spain (2016); ‘The Importance of Being’, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Buenos Aires, Brazil (2015); ‘Contemporary Art in Dokolo Collection Sindika – You Love Me, You Love Me Not’, Almeida Garrett Municipal Library, Porto, Portugal (2015); ‘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 Centre Pompidou, Paris; ArtPace, Texas, USA; Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, USA, FNAC, Paris, France, Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden and Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden.