National Museum of Women in the Arts
Hollis Sigler
1948 - March 29 2001
Photograph of Hollis Sigler, by Melanie Ames Arnold, courtesy of the photographer. (c) Melanie Ames Arnold
Place of Birth:
Phonetic Spelling:
HAHL-iss SIHG-lerr
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Work Type/Media:
Drawings and prints, Painting, Sculpture
Artistic Role(s):
Painter, Printmaker, Sculptor
Artist's Biography:
Since 1975, the Chicago artist Hollis Sigler has created psychologically complex narrative paintings, drawings, and prints grounded in personal experience. Adopting from a faux naïf style, the childlike look of her art has been characterized by Sigler as a reaction against what she saw as a patriarchal culture that historically treated women as little more than children. And yet, from its inception, this style was also a means of conveying difficult emotional content in a way that viewers could easily understand.

Born in Gary, Indiana, Sigler earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Moore College of Art. Three years later, she received a Master of Fine Arts from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and began to take her place in Chicago’s art scene during a period when artists in that city, as well as in Los Angeles and San Francisco, were questioning New York’s cultural hegemony. Familiar with Chicago’s Hairy Who group—with it’s emphasis on cartoons and other low-art imagery—as well as the whimsical art of Florine Stettheimer, Sigler found sympathetic and quirky precedents for her own burgeoning, idiosyncratic approach.

Other Occupation(s):
Activist, Teacher
Place(s) of Residence:
Prairie View
Where Trained/Schools:
School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA (1971-1973) Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA (1966-1970)
Related Visual Artists:
influenced by Florine Stettheimer
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Lifetime Achievement Award, College Art Association, New York, NY, USA (2001) Childe Hassam Purchase Award, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY, USA (1988) Visual Fellowship Grant, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC, USA (1987)
Earliest exhibition:
Nancy Lurie Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA (1979)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Presswork: The Art of Women Printmakers
FOREFRONT: HOLLIS SIGLER-- Breast Cancer Journal: Walking with the ghosts of My Grandmothers
Illinois Women Artists: The New Millenium
Gardener's Delight
Insomnia: Landscapes of the Night
Steven Scott Collects: Donations and Promised Gifts to the Permanent Collection
Related places
Prairie View (died at)
Following the Ghosts of Our Grandmothers into the Future
She Always Thought She Was Wrong
She Has Been There Since the Beginning. . .
She Is the Beauty of the Green Earth. . .
She Was Tired of Filling Her Heart with Hopeless Dreams
Stepping Outside of Her Life
Taking Stock of Her Situation
The Fates Do Exist
The Lady Lost Something. Will She Find It Again?
The Only Permanence Is Change
There Is a Doubt, She Could Be Right
They Were Right, They Are Perfect
To Kiss the Spirits: Now, This Is What It Is Really Like
You've Tried to Break My Heart