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 artists 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 artists hand, placing him firmly within the Abstract Expressionist
tradition. The frequent appearance of loose, gestural passages rendered
in inky blacks recall Robert Motherwells 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 1950s. 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.