Hollis Sigler

(1948 – 2001)


Hollis Sigler was a leading feminist artist in Chicago. In 1985 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, a disease that also struck her mother and great-grandmother. Soon after her diagnosis, and acknowledging that she would most likely die from the disease, Sigler began creating her Breast Cancer Journal: Walking with the Ghosts of My Grandmothers, more than 100 works (paintings, drawings, and collages) expressing emotional responses to the various stages of her struggle with cancer. In a faux-naïve style, she portrayed unpeopled scenes where women’s clothing, furniture, and antique sculptures act as surrogates for the artist.

Art in America called Sigler’s series “one of contemporary art’s richest and most poignant treatments of sickness and health.Taking on a kind of religious conviction, her jewel-colored symbols imbue a death-haunted situation with miraculous, celebratory life.” 

 Sigler received her BA from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Honolulu Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, DC; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; and the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA and more hold her work in their collections. 

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