H.A. Sigg





H.A. Sigg engages in a dialogue with the forces of nature and his inner thoughts, ever pushing familiar themes to new dimensions. Twisting snakelike forms in the collages and zigzag shapes in paintings such as Lingering in Contemplation (2000) or Meditative IV (2004) reference a river – the artist’s symbol for the life cycle – which has featured in his work for the last several decades. In an ongoing series, In the Middle Realm, he revisits a theme that emerged in 1994, following a trip to China, where he admired stone altars in Buddhist temples. Paintings from this series generally feature a central focal point or inner core represented by a soaring vertical column, which mysteriously recedes into the depths of the canvas – a doorway into another world.
Color has long been a key element for Sigg. Blues often dominate, inferring transcendence. In Dream I (2000), multiple planes in subtly nuanced shades of blue are layered one on top of the other, suggesting distant space. In other works, warmer colors compete with the blues, setting up a rhythmic push/pull between forms. Rectangular expanses of red press inward toward the center and downward from the top in Within the Red (2004) as if to merge with a field of ethereal blue.
Vigorous brushwork in the all of the paintings heightens awareness of the artist’s hand, placing him firmly within the Abstract Expressionist tradition. The frequent appearance of loose, gestural passages rendered in inky blacks recall Robert Motherwell’s Elegies and Chinese calligraphy, which Sigg has long admired. Paint is applied quickly in thin, transparent layers. The surfaces are often scumbled, lending a sense of urgency that pervades each work.

Born in Switzerland, Sigg has exhibited his work throughout Europe since the early 1950’s. Educated in Zurich and Paris, he studied briefly with André Lhotte, assimilating influences as varied as Cubism, Expressionism and Constructivism, honing and refining his own unique blend of abstraction. His work is in numerous public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States, including Union Bank of Switzerland, Pfizer Inc, the Barbier-Mueller Collection, Geneva, Buehrle Collection, Zurich and the Kunsthaus, Zurich, among others. His large-scale public murals and commissioned works in stained glass are permanently installed in the University of Zurich, Hotel Marriott, Zurich, the Church of Fribourg and Siemens Corporation, Iselin, New Jersey.

Full color catalogue available.