Marlene Siff’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad, including The Aldrich Museum, The Connecticut Public Television Gallery, Galerie Musée in Nagoya, Japan, the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery in the Quick Center at Fairfield University, the Artists Registry at the National September 11 Memorial Museum and in the permanent collection of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington D.C. Her work has been commissioned by many corporations, including J.C. Penny, J.P. Stevens and the Easter Seal Foundation and hangs in numerous corporate and private collections. Siff’s painting “Neo Gothic” was accepted into the worldwide competition “Art Takes Time Square 2012” and was viewed in Times Square by thousands of people.
Ms. Siff was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, was an art honor student at the High School of Music and Art and graduated Kappa Pi with a BA degree in Fine Arts from Hunter College.
Inspired and frustrated by all of the troubles in the world, she decided to create a new body of work entitled "Elements of Peace." She embarked on this mission in the winter of 2007, as a personal way of involving herself with issues outside of painting, in the hope of making a difference and creating awareness through art.
Siff began collecting words and phrases that she associated with peace, from the theatre, films, books, newspapers, magazines, television, conversations and songs. This collection of contemporary sound bites was incorporated into a body of work comprised of paintings, works on paper, sculpture and mobiles, each named after an element of peace from her collection of words and phrases.
On August 7, 2008, she was confronted by the New York Time’s 3-page spread entitled “The Roster of the Dead,” a list of all of the American soldiers who had lost their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan up to that point in time. Deeply moved, Siff felt she had to respond in some way, so she began sketching plans for a large mixed media commemorative assemblage that would pay homage to our country’s fallen heroes.
Siff began gathering her ideas, making sketches, creating maquettes and researching and developing the materials necessary for "Fallen Heroes/Afghanistan". There were many questions that needed to be answered. Is war inevitable? Is peace something that exists only in moments of time? Can peace ever be the natural state of our world?
This assemblage became the keystone for the entire body of 47 paintings, works on paper and sculpture which resulted in a 2012 solo exhibition, "Elements of Peace", shown at the Walsh art Gallery in the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. “Fallen Heroes/Afghanistan” is exhibited in the office of CT Congressman Jim Himes in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. He chose this assemblage to hang in his office when it was completed in 2010.
In the catalogue introduction of Siff’s solo exhibition at the Walter Wickiser Gallery in New York, the art historian Edward Lucie-Smith says “Marlene Siff is a visionary artist, who sees her work as a means of giving form to states of mind. She uses an intricate interplay of geometric shapes in order to achieve this end.” Comparing Ms. Siff’s work to that of Kandinsky, Rothko, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, and the Russian Constructivists Antoine Pevsner and Naum Gabo, Lucie-Smith goes on to say, “One of the ways in which the Delaunays differed from their rival and contemporaries was that their work expressed a radiant faith in the future that remained unshaken by world events. I think Marlene Siff's work offers an equivalent, and now rare, optimism about human possibility, and this is one of the things that gives it its special flavor.”
Siff has published a Catalogue Raisonné. The book has been placed in the personal library of Glen Lowry, director of MOMA, and the libraries of the Whitney Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).
“I am concerned with communicating a sense of harmony, balance, order and spirituality. We are all confronted on a daily basis with the fragmentation of our non-linear lives, trying, as in a puzzle, to make all the pieces fit together to make sense of it all. My paintings, works on paper, and sculpture depict imagery of personal events and psychological issues. They are expressed through geometric shapes, color, light, space, texture, edges and movement all interplaying with one another engaging the viewer to participate. The multi-dimensionality and multi-layering of the structures make reference to the layers one must uncover to penetrate the illusions of reality and reach the mystery and essence of the soul.”