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Sidney Geist

American, 1914-2005


Sidney Geist

Red Eye, 1948

Painted wood
48 x 10 x 9 1/2 in
122 x 25.4 x 24 cm


Sidney Geist was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1914. Geist studied art at St. Stephen’s College in Annandale, NY, and New York Art Students League under William Zorach. Geist served in the military from 1943-1945 and trained as a sculptor at Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris from 1949-1950. Sidney Geist returned to New York in 1950 and took a SoHo studio where he became embedded in the downtown New York arts scene. Geist showed at the Historic Artist Cooperative and Tanager Gallery, alongside Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Philip Pearlstein, and other notable artists. As a leader in the art scene, Geist produced an alternative arts newsletter entitled “Scrap” between 1960 and 1962. A prolific writer as well as sculptor, Geist was a frequent contributor to Art Digest under the pen-name Otis Gage; Geist also contributed to Arts, Artforum, and The New Criticism. Geist was instrumental in founding the New York School where he served as Director. Sidney Geist later taught at Vassar College, Pratt Institute and University of California, Berkley. Sidney Geist was a respected authority on Brancusi, publishing several monographs and curating on the Romanian artist. Geist has showed at numerous galleries and museums internationally including Galerie Huit, Hacker Gallery, Dilexi, Stable Gallery, Art of this Century Gallery, Martha Jackson, Pleiades Gallery, Landmark, Art Institute of Chicago, Queens Museum, Newark Museum, and Whitney Museum.