Berlin-born Anne Siems‘s ghostly, transparent characters unearth ideas about life and death, sensuality, sexuality, nature, experiences in the realm of dreams, psyche, and spirit.
In 1991, Anne moved from Berlin to Seattle after finishing her MFA at the Hochschule der Kunste Berlin. While in Berlin she had a large studio and worked on large-scale, room-filling drawings of semi-abstract organic shapes. In Seattle, Anne had a small desk and a little bit of wall space, so she began working on waxed found paper, mostly newsprint and paper bags, using ink, and acrylic paint. The imagery became more precise. Multiple delicate images overlapped like sketches, with one large central form usually dominating the final composition.
In 1995, Anne felt complete with her body of work, but she wanted the imagery to have a more painterly quality. Botanical, organic imagery remained along with an additional vocabulary of forms – birds, butterflies, garlands, draperies, small landscapes, faces, and dresses. She worked first on a series of free-floating wreaths, garlands, and birds that eventually condensed and clustered to take on the shape of a dress or tunic. Later, three dimensional, transparent garments floated in front of a backdrop of birds, flowers, and text. Eventually, faces attached themselves to these garments or floated freely, surrounded by flora and fauna.
In 2001, Anne started working on panels without beeswax for the first time. Painting on a firm, smooth surface, which the waxed, stitched together paper didn’t provide, allowed for much more precision and detail. The photograph of a young friend began a year-long series of portraits. Mostly seated in front of a backdrop of dripping paint, her face, hands and the objects surrounding her are painted very precisely, with her garment featured in the same watery, slightly translucent manner.
At present, Annes work is interested in the human figure and the attributes that surround it. These attributes reflect something about being without giving a specific narrative. Ideas about life and death, sensuality, sexuality, nature, experiences in the realm of dreams, psyche, and spirit are her ongoing topic. A lot of inspiration for these pieces stem from her ongoing love for the art of the European Masters, Early American Folk Art, as well as vintage and modern photography.
Via Sebastian Foster