Geer van Velde is mostly known for his abstract works. The subtle, sometimes monochrome colours resembles a long meditation on light. Indescribable movements underline intermediary spaces, the plastic equivalents of which are a linear architecture that gradually gives way to suggest depth.
Van Velde was the second son of Willem Adriaan van Velde and Hendrika Catharina von der Voorst, illegitimate daughter of an earl. Catharina and her four children (Neeltje, Bram, Geer, and Jacoba) were abandoned by Willem Adriaan after the bankruptcy of his business, leaving them in misery. Moving a lot, they eventually moved to The Hague in 1903. In 1910 at the age of twelve, Geer became an apprentice designer in the firm with Schaijk & Eduard H. Kramers. Kramers encouraged Geer to develop his interest in painting, as he did with his brother Bram van Velde. Geer van Velde left for Paris in 1925 to join his brother Bram. During the first difficult years in Paris the brothers Bram and Geer received financial support from their former patrons Eduard and Wijnand Kramers from The Hague. During the Great Depression this source dries up and Bram and Geer are left to fend for themselves.
In Paris Geer van Velde met Samuel Beckett, the Irish writer who became an important man in his life. Beckett introduces Geer to influential personalities such as Peggy Guggenheim, who showed his works in her London gallery in 1938. In the same year Geer and his wife Elisabeth left for the South of France. This year brought about a turning point in Geer’s artistic and personal life. The Mediterranean light significantly influenced not only his palette, but also his visual language. His contacts with the painter Pierre Bonnard and gallery owner Aimé Maeght were likewise of great significance for Geer.
After the war the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague (1947) and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1950) showed interest in van Veldes’ work in The Netherlands; Sandberg even visited Geer in his studio.
He won the first prize in the Biennale de Menton in 1951. Geer van Velde belongs to the Ecole de Paris. Works in possession of various Dutch museums and collections.