Anna Bella Geiger

Anna Bella Geiger (Born in Rio de Janeiro, 1933) lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.

Anna Bella Geiger studied Linguistics and Anglo-Germanic Language and Literature in Brazil and Sociology and Art History at NYU and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Geiger has taken part in numerous collective exhibitions such as Espai de Lectura 1: Brasil at MACBA, Barcelona in 2009; Modern Women Single Channel at MoMA PS1, New York in 2011; and Video Vintáge at the Centre Pompidou, Paris in 2012. She represented Brazil in the XXXIX Venice Biennale in 1980. Geiger had major solo exhibitions such as On a Certain Piece of Land at Red Gate Gallery, Beijing in 2005; and Projects: Videos XXI at MoMA in 1978. Geiger received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1982 and her work is part of important collections such as MACBA in Barcelona, The Getty in Los Angeles, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and MoMA in New York.

Anna Bella Geiger is one of the pioneering figures of both painterly abstraction and conceptual art in Latin America, and a deeply influential teacher in Rio de Janeiro over the past half-century. During the tumultuous political period in Brazil in the 1960s-70s, questioning the authority of the status quo became essential to the survival of individual, creative expression and avant-garde thought, though it was ever more dangerous to do so. Through Geiger’s investigations of social, cultural and political symbols ­–such as Latin American cartographies, the use of camouflage, and the presence of Indigenous populations in Brazil– she maintained a critical and active stance with her art and refused to bow to the demands of totalitarianism.  Geiger was the main figure in the development of a school of video art in Rio de Janeiro in the mid-1970s. She radically shifted her teaching methods and artistic practice after 1968, moving her classes outdoors and, from 1973 on, classifying the full range of her work across all mediums as Situações-Limites (Limit-Situations). With a focus on multi-disciplinary practices, Geiger’s critical, conceptual practices have remained significant and relevant, not only within the field of art history but also within the greater communities in which her works are made