Hollis Sigler's Breast Cancer Journal / Edition 1

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The artist's pictorial journal explores her experience with breast cancer, creating paintings and works on paper. With essays by leading breast cancer authority Susan Love, art critic James Yood, and Sigler herself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A Chicago-based artist, Sigler learned in 1986 that she, like her mother and grandmother, had breast cancer. Five years later, the cancer had spread to Sigler's bones, inspiring the captivating small-scale paintings featured in this powerful book, in which she unflinchingly traces the perilous psychic journey a woman makes as she combats the disease. The pieces have an introspective yet schematic feel similar to the work of Chicago Imagist Jim Nutt. Because Sigler constructs her symmetrical paintings in bright, jewel-tone colors, they also recall the work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. (An essay by James Yood traces Sigler's career as an artist, and a brief text by Sigler describes the history of her work.) Occasionally, Sigler uses cut paper to create her domestic scenes of beds, dresses and vanities in which no one seems to be at home. In some works, the right breast has been slashed from the dresses and blood rains from the sky. Because the reproductions are relatively small, the statistics on cancer and the private thoughts the artist has inscribed on the frames of her paintings are reprinted at the bottom of each page. Readers don't have to have cancer to relate to the sentiments expressed in works like "Having to Beat the Odds"--although as breast cancer specialist Dr. Susan M. Love notes in her foreword, the disease still kills 30% of its victims. 60 color plates. (Dec.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Artist Sigler began this series of paintings in 1992 after her second bout with breast cancer. Sigler has now had a second recurrence, but she continues to work and to see cancer as a positive force, making each day something to look forward to and acknowledging that giving up control over something that is beyond one's control is liberating. The brightly colored, symbolic pieces feature recurring themes of loss (leafless/limbless trees), a heightened sense of personal awareness (a vanity table), and the death of her mother in 1995, also from breast cancer (a dress). Sigler often includes text in the form of statistics, journal entries, or inspirational texts (e.g., from Audre Lorde's The Cancer Journals) written on the frames and mats of her paintings; these are clearly printed here for easier reading below the fine reproductions. The introduction by art critic and author Yood establishes Sigler's progression in the art world. And breast cancer advocate Susan Love's foreword acknowledges the grace and ultimate value of these works in a world where a cancer cure is not yet near enough. Those interested in cancer matters will find Sigler's texts as enlightening as they are alarming; the book will move those affected by breast cancer as well as those attracted by the art. Recommended for all libraries.--Bette-Lee Fox, "Library Journal" Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555951764
  • Publisher: Hudson Hills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,187,447
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 11.96 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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