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Harry Geffert (1934 - 2017)

Press Release

Cris Worley Fine Arts proudly presents Harry Geffert: The Paper Works, a rare glimpse into Geffert’s exploration of dimensional cast paper sculptures. This exhibition will feature wall-mounted relief sculpture in paper with a focus on nature-based works. Harry Geffert: The Paper Works opens on October 19th with an opening reception from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and will be on view through November 16th.

Harry Geffert (1934 – 2017) is primarily known for his mastery of fine bronze casting and legendary contributions to the continuum of Texas art history. Always one to explore new media and techniques, Geffert began to experiment with paper as sculpture in the early 2000’s. During this period of his career, Geffert was casting the surface of moving water in bronze, a likely impetus to his fascination with textural surfaces. His subject matter ranged from trees, flowers, vegetables, clothing and even foundry equipment. Despite a drastic shift in medium, the artist’s fine level of detail and sophistication remained apparent.

Geffert approached these sculptures as drawings, carefully considering how line and shadow were composed on a blank page. He conceived of both positive and negative space, producing relief and impressions, and eventually began to cast entire subjects in the round. Even the relief sculptures evolved, correlating more to photography than drawing as his textural investigations expanded beyond the edges of the “pages” he created. 

In 2005, Harry Geffert and his life partner and fellow artist, Linda Ridgway, took a road trip along the west coast, where they serendipitously stumbled upon Ruby Beach in Oregon. This experience inspired Geffert to replicate the movement of water around rocks, by intuitively pressing marks into clay by hand. Molds of these gestural compositions were then filled with a unique mix of paper pulp, resulting in the graceful and nostalgic Ruby Beach series that will be highlighted among other vistas in this exhibition.

Harry Geffert was born in Live Oak County, Texas in 1934. He received his Bachelor of Science from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos and his Master of Arts from New Mexico Highlands University in 1961. He spearheaded the Sculpture Department at Texas Christian University in 1962 where taught for twenty-seven years. In 1980, he established The Green Mountain Foundry where his guidance and knowledge was sought after by artists Frances Bagley, Clyde Connell, Joseph Havel, Lucas Johnson, Ken Little, Linda Ridgway, James Surls, Vernon Fisher and Virgil Grotfeldt among countless others. He was awarded the Mitchell W. Wilder Merit Citation for Excellence in Publication and Media Design in 1983 for a video installation on a bronze casting in collaboration with the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. Harry went on to receive a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990, and in that same year, presented a solo exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. He was bestowed with a Legend Award from The Dallas Visual Arts Center in 1998. In 1999, Geffert closed the foundry to focus solely on his own artistic interests. 

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