American sculptors George Spanenta and Sydney Geist (center) working on a sculpture in Paris, 1949.
cademic Grande Chaumière, Paris, France
Sidney studied at Academic Grande Chaumière in Paris.
Art Students League, New York City, New York, United States
Sidney studied at Art Students League.
(In this remarkable book, the sculptor and writer Sidney G...)
In this remarkable book, the sculptor and writer Sidney Geist presents a revolutionary interpretation of the art of Cézanne. Geist argues that Cézanne's paintings are fertile with reflections of the artist's private world and passionate concerns. Looking at more than two hundred works, all reproduced in the book, he identifies the symbolism that gives form to a hidden significance in the paintings - concealed allusions to Cézanne himself and to his relations with his wife and mother, his father, his son, and his friend Zola, as well as a circle of colleagues including Pissarro, Frederic Bazille, and Ambroise Vollard.
Sidney studied at Stephen’s College, Art Students League, and Academic Grande Chaumière in Paris. He was taught by masters William Zorach and Ossip Zadkin.
Sidney started to works as an instructor in sculpture at Pratt Institute during 1961-65. He was a director of New York Studio School during 1964-66, an instructor in sculpture during 1964-87.
He also served as an instructor of sculpture at Vassar College during 1968-81. He was an instructor in sculpture at Vermont Studio School in 1987; at International School of Art, Todi in 1989. Sidney was an artist-in-residence at Carving Studio, Vermont in 1991. Next year he served at International School of Art, Montecastello di Vibio as an instructor.
In the late 1980s, Geist moved his attention away from Brancusi, and concentrated instead upon the works of other artists, including that of the French post-impressionist Paul Cezanne. In 1988, Geist published Interpreting Cezanne, in which he looks at, among other things, hidden images in Cezanne’s paintings. In addition to his books, Geist has also written art criticism for many magazines and periodicals, including Artforum, Saturday Review, Art International, Artscribe, and New Criterion.
Geist’s debut work, Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture, earned him some critical success. The book gives a general account of Brancusi’s sculptures, his philosophies, and style, as well as a biographical sketch of his life. A contributor for Choice called Geist’s effort the “best book written on Brancusi.” “Geist’s critical exegesis of Brancusi’s work is certainly thoughtful and sincere, but it is neither profound nor imaginative,” wrote a reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement.
Geist’s 1975 effort, Brancusi: The Sculpture and the Drawings, came about as a result of the Brancusi retrospective that ran at the Guggenheim Museum. Library Journal reviewer Robin Kaplan felt it was “a strange mixture of popular text and scholarly apparati.” A contributor to Choice lauded the book’s “clear and beautiful prose” and “handsome design.”
Brancusi: The Kiss was published three years later and was also met with a fair amount of critical applause. In the work, Geist examines and extracts the meanings of the eight different versions of The Kiss, one of Brancusi’s most famous sculptures. A contributor for Choice thought Geist had written “with the understanding of the practitioner.” Although noting the importance of Geist’s “terse, gentle tone,” a contributor for the New Yorker surmised that the book “could use a little more dramatic momentum.”
(Carved and cast plaster, 1940.)1940
(Finished wood mounted to base.)1950
Fisherman with 6 Fish
(Wood and lacquer and net.)1951
(Painted Pine Wood.)1951
(Wood and lacquer.)1956
Man and Woman
(Wood and lacquer.)1956
(Oil on plaster.)1962
(Wood and net.)1948
Geist is a member of College Art Association of America.