Hollis Sigler (1948 - 2001)
NEW HOLLIS SIGLER RETROSPECTIVE:
HOLLIS SIGLER: "EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED"
10/9/09 - 1/10/10: Rockford Art Museum, IL,
travels to Chicago Cultural Center, IL 1/30/10 - 4/4/10
Hollis Sigler received her B.F.A. in 1970 from Moore College of Art in
Philadelphia, spending her junior year abroad in Florence, Italy, and her M.F.A.
from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1973. She has been honored
with numerous grants and awards including a National Endowment for the Arts
grant for painting in 1987 and an Honorary Doctorate from Moore College of Art
in 1994. She has been a Professor of Art at Columbia College in Chicago for
The artist’s work has been included in hundreds of
national group exhibitions including the “1981 Whitney Biennial”, the "1985
Corcoran Biennial” and “Art in Chicago 1945-1995” at the Museum of Contemporary
Art, Chicago in 1996. A mid-career retrospective exhibition was shown at the
Akron Art Museum in 1986 and traveled to the Chicago Cultural Center in 1987.
Solo exhibitions of the recent “Breast Cancer Journal” series have taken place
at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, in 1993, the
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 1994, and the Arkansas Art Center, Little
Rock in 1996.
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS:
Akron Art Museum,
American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
Institute of Chicago, IL
Arthur Anderson, Inc., Chicago, IL
Baltimore Museum of Art, MD
Bank America Corporation, New
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY
Chicago Tribune Corportion,
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
First National Bank, Chicago, IL
Hallmark Cards, Kansas
Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Indianapolis Museum of Art,
Johns Hopkins Hospital Oncology Center, Baltimore, MD
Long Grove, IL
Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, Peoria, IL
Communications, New York, NY
Madison Art Center, WI
Milwaukee Art Museum,
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
National Gallery of Art,
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution,
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington,
Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA
The Progressive Corporation,
Mayfield Village, OH
Prudential, South Plainfield, NJ
Foundation, Wyoming and New York
Rockford Art Museum, IL
David and Alfred Smart Gallery, University of Chicago,
Spencer Art Museum, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Department of the United States, Washington, DC
The State Foundation on
Culture and the Arts, Honolulu, HI
3M Corporation, St. Paul, MN
Art Gallery, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
University of New Mexico, University
Art Museum, Albuquerque, NM
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York,
Hollis Sigler: Breast Cancer
Journal: Walking with the Ghosts of My Grandmothers, exhibition catalog,
Rockford College Art Gallery, 1993.
Hollis Sigler: The Breast Cancer
Journal, exhibition catalog, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1994.
Hollis Sigler’s Breast Cancer
Journal, monograph published by Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1999.
In the unfolding of life, every minute is precious
oil on canvas with painted frame, 32 x 36", 1995
Baltimore Museum of Art, Gift of Wendy Jachman, Baltimore. MD
Installation of Hollis Sigler, To Kiss The Spirits: Now This Is What It Is Really Like,
oil on canvas with painted frame, 66 x 66", 1993
at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, summer 2015.
Promised Gift of Steven Scott, Baltimore, in memory of the artist.
Good Time Just Passing Through,
Oil on canvas, 60 x 60"
Collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC,
Promised Gift of Steven Scott, Baltimore, in memory of the artist
Oil on canvas with painted frame, 62 x 62"
Exhibited 1985 Corcoran Biennial, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, traveled to several other museums in 1985
A Part Of Her Life Remains Beyond Her Reach,
Oil on canvas with painted frame, 64 1/2 x 64"
The Lady Desires The Divine For Herself,
Oil on board with painted frame, 16 1/2 x 19 1/2"
You Never Know When She Will Arrive, But She's Never Invited,
Oil pastel on paper with painted frame, 29 x 34"
Hope Is Out There...Waiting For Us To Find Her,
Oil pastel on paper with painted frame, 29 x 34"
I know I am not alone. I can turn over my fears of cancer and death
to my higher self. It gives me strength. Strength comes from standing
firm with the support of others. Strength is love,
Cut paper collage with painted frame, 30 3/4 x 30 3/4"
She Dares To Dream Of Her Desires
Watercolor monotype with painted frame, 27 1/2 x 33 1/2"
Seeking Out An Island Of Peace
Watercolor monotype with painted frame, 27 x 33"
Taking Stock Of Her Situation
Lithograph, Edition of 20, 20 x 26"
She Dreams Of Escaping To Hope,
Etching with drypoint with printed mat and painted frame, 26 1/4 x 31" framed
THE VISUAL CONFESSIONS OF HOLLIS SIGLER
1975 Chicago artist Hollis Sigler (born 1948) has executed narrative paintings,
drawings, and prints in a faux-naive manner. Influenced by a reaction against
the lack of emotion of the photorealist paintings she began in graduate school
at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as by her exposure to feminism, Chicago
imagism and outsider art, Sigler’s mature work is deliberately unsettling. Her
unpeopled room interiors and fanciful landscapes depict the debris of an
incident already climaxed. These scattered objects (along with the provocative
handwritten titles appearing on each piece) convey not the cause but the effect
of the drama on the departed heroine, whom Sigler acknowledges is her alter-ego.
Intensely personal and psychologically complex, her work depicts the
pain and anger of feeling victimized by parents, lovers and her own fears and
inadequacies, as well as her effort to hide her hurt by exploring her innermost
desires and dreams of escape. The emotional impact of her autobiographical
“confessions” stems from her sophisticated use of high keyed, jarring color
combinations; skewed perspectives; intensely agitated expressionistic stroking;
and a deceivingly childlike style in order to convey adult subject matter. The
great irony of her work lies in the fact that her spontaneous, naive style
allows the viewer some distance and the artist some self-protection from states
of mind that would be quite unendurable if presented realistically. The viewer
can freely enter her suddenly vacated settings and explore their several layers
Ms. Sigler was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985; her
mother and great-grandmother died from the disease. When the cancer metastasized
to her bones in 1992, she began the critically acclaimed series, “The Breast
Cancer Journal”, composed of oil paintings, oil pastel drawings, cut paper
collages, monotypes and lithographs. The artist incorporates handwritten medical
research as well as personal diary entries directly on the frames and borders of
each piece, conveying her own spiritual and emotional journey as a breast cancer
patient. The artist expresses acceptance and hope despite her continuing
struggle with the disease through the recent works in this exhibition.
Steven Scott. Essay from May-June, 1998 exhibition. RECENT PAINTINGS,
DRAWINGS, CUT PAPER COLLAGES AND PRINTS FROM THE “BREAST CANCER JOURNAL”
series. Steven Scott Gallery, Baltimore MD