Geer van Velde was born on April 5, 1898 in Lisse, a town in the Netherlands. He and his older brother Bram, who was also a painter of note, endured misery and abject poverty when their father abandoned the family. After being apprenticed to the decorating firm Schaijk and Eduard H. Kramers, Geer moved to Paris to join his brother. Initially Geer was influenced by the Russian born French artist Marc Chagall, who was a pioneer in the art movement of modernism as well as one of the greatest figural painters of the 20th century. Geer van Velde at this juncture painted subjects from nature but then began to experiment with painting works that explored the relationship between abstract geometric shapes.
Geer always remained very close to his older brother Bram. An exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon in 2010 explored how the two influenced each other in their different and diverging artistic pursuits. Together their art reflected the aesthetic issues that both confronted and revolutionized art in pre and post World War II Europe and formed a part of the École de Paris. Both brothers were intensively influenced by the Cubist movement; a style of painting from which Geer never deviated during his artistic career.
Salon des Independents, Paris, 1928-1932, 1940, 1941
Galerie de Geer Guggenheim Jeune, London, 1938
Gallery Maeght, Paris, 1946, 1948, 1952
Biennale of Menton, 1951 (First Place)
Documenta 2, Kassel, 1959
Kunsthandel M.L. de Boer Amsterdam, 1971
Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1982
Galerie Louis Carré & Coe, Paris
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, 2010
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon