JEFF GEESA FOR SYNTAX SEASON
DECEMBER 17, 2016 - JANUARY 8, 2017
652 E 52nd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 17, 3-5 pm
Jeff Geesa was a young artist attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, pursuing his MFA degree, when he left us too early. As one of his graduate advisors who had the privilege of working with him for two semesters, I came to know him and his work well. Besides sharing residency in Indiana, we also both enjoyed language as an image for our art, although Jeff’s painting also explored other abstract subjects, which were strikingly similar to calligraphy. Jeff was an elegant painter with great intellectual curiosity. He was not content to finesse only the conceptual aspects of his paintings, but also their material application. Techniques and materials were as much his content as the subject of his paintings were, and he enthusiastically researched, through his practice, many inventive and unique mark making processes and applications and their intersection with the image. He was truly always searching for perfection. Wit and humor were also an important aspect of Jeff’s work. I once showed him an unusual phrase I had 'discovered' in which three words that were written in a grid read the same way horizontally and vertically:
N O T
O N E
T E N
I said, "Look at this! I don't know how I even came up with it, but I can't think of any other examples." Jeff responded by one-upping me. He scrawled on a piece of paper:
Y E S
E Y E
S E E
And he proceeded to turn it into this beautiful painting!
Never content to rest on his many successes, Jeff strived to find his most authentic voice. From the beginning Jeff set up for himself many challenges and then met them honestly, tirelessly, and with the highest standards. He was passionate about art and received great joy from making and studying it. We are fortunate to be able to share his great gift.
- Kay Rosen
Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Jeff Geesa (1985-2015) received his BFA from the Herron School of Art and Design in 2007 and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2013-2015, pursuing his MFA in Painting and Drawing. He exhibited in cities such as Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, Baltimore and Indianapolis. In addition to his painting practice, he was also an accomplished musician and writer.