"Not a revelation, but an air of mystery should dwell in all works."
With its arresting textures and unexpected media, German artist Willi Siber’s work surprises at every turn. In his hands, heavy steel may appear as weightless as a balloon, while common materials—wood, nails, cardboard—combine into otherworldly, fantastical objects. Often, at least from afar, the components of Siber’s works are mysterious; only on inspection do we see that he achieves his miraculous results with simple ingredients, performing a kind of alchemy, transforming everyday matter through ingenious acts of repurposing and recombining.
The paintings, whose innovative techniques push them toward sculpture, can read from a distance as landscapes—aerial views of forests, perhaps, or ice-covered parts of the Arctic—or as microscopic lifeforms. Yet we sense that for Siber, such resemblances to reality are incidental. As art historian Sabine Heilig has written of his work, “He is not interested in the aesthetics of the material itself, but rather in its ability to be transformed.” Along with its formal inventiveness, Siber’s work is remarkable for its use of color. With a palette ranging from muted earth tones to electric hues of pink and green, he seems to match form to color as if by instinct. The bent-and-folded steel pipe sculptures, covered in pristine coats of enamel, possess a luxurious shimmer, beckoning like jewels, while other works, coated in darker, powdery hues, are quiet and subdued—a spectrum recalling the powerful work of minimalist artists as varied as Robert Ryman, John McCracken, and Craig Kauffman.
Siber, born in Germany in 1949, earned his degree from the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. An internationally exhibiting artist since 1990, Siber has shown his work at galleries, museums, and art fairs across Europe and the U.S. as well as in Seoul, Hong Kong, and Australia. Siber's work can be found in public collections across the world, including the German Bundestag Federal Republic in Berlin, the German Embassy in Buenos Aires, as well as Municipal Art Museums in Spendhaus, Reutlingen, and Schwäbisch Gmünd, and more.