Geer Steyn

 'Beelden in de Buitenhof '

1992 by Ad Merx (translated from Dutch)

Geer Steyn studied to the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam. Under the guidance of the sculptor Piet Esser he is trained in the figurative naturalistic tradition. He studies the classics and feels himself attracted by the damaged state, in which the statues from antiquity come to us; an aspect that will return later in his own work. After the academy he leaves in 1973, for a year to Vienna, where he gets lessons from the well-known Austrian sculptor Fritz Wotruba (1907-1975). The from geometrical forms built and piled up figures of Wotruba inspire Steyn to search for the essential in human forms. In 1980, he visits an exposition of Picasso in New York, a euphoria for Steyn. This journey to America, where he stays a summer in New York, gives his work definitively its own direction. "I strip my human form, work from the core and try to experiment with subtle differences in attitude and volume. Thus exploring the relation between general nature and individuality without losing the entity between the two", so says Steyn.

His statues are no 'heads', but portraits, there is resemblance with someone. The "ultimate" portrait is the sculpture, that melts general essential characteristics and individuality together. The slightly distorted character of the sculpture is also an important aspect in the work of Geer Steyn. Chopped from the larger total, the portrait stands as a petrified basic human being in its first familiarization with the ground. Men come forward and require there own space; every individual is unique.