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Geiss Project

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Donning an oversized black furry vest and a welcoming smile, Suzanne Geiss is holding court at 76 Grand Street, once home to the legendary gallery Deitch Projects. The dealer is in her element, giving a tour of the sprawling space, where she spent nearly 15 years as Deitch's executive director, turning the gallery into a New York institution by working on everything from the Art Parade to Keith Haring's estate. Now, almost two years after her boss shut his doors -- in which time the Long Island native realized projects by the likes of Assume Vivid Astro Focus and Chris Johanson, and consulted for clients on their private art collections -- she has returned to that very building to launch The Suzanne Geiss Company.

With over a year of exhibitions already scheduled, the program will partially overlap with that of Deitch's, but there will be some unexpected additions of both undiscovered and established talents, including everyone from Melodie Mousset to Ryan Johnson. "The exact form and who I will be presenting I think will be quite  surprising and different from what we did at Deitch. But I do think there's a shared interest in expanding the audience and expanding the meaning of what art can be," Geiss explained. The inaugural show will feature the work of the late graffiti pioneer Rammellzee. Reclusive for the past two decades, this is the first time that all the complete sets of his three-dimensional "Letter Racers" and two-dimensional alphabets ("Wild Style" and "Sign Overture") will be shown together.

"I can only do what I'm interested in, and I'm so inspired by the artists that I'm planning to exhibit. They are the innovators and I'm here to act as their producer, facilitator, sometimes co-conspirator," reflects Geiss, as our tour commences in a large back room, where sun from the gallery's skylights envelops a preview of her May exhibit: four delicious Kristin Baker abstractions. For Geiss, and her eclectic group of young artists, the future already looks bright.

In top photo: (l-r) Alex Hudson, Shea Goli, Suzanne Geiss, Alexxa Gotthardt

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Suzanne Geiss on Rammellzee's letters (one of which, a Z, is pictured above): "His work, his world -- Gothic Futurism -- is really so dense that we wanted to focus on one aspect and really start at the foundation, which is his theory of letters breaking free of the constraints of language. It's about mechanizing the letters--they're racing."




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