Silvia Siemes and Michael Cleff

Ambivalent Sculptures

One could hardly imagine more dissimilar approaches to ceramic sculpture, but gallerist Marianne Heller reconciles the seemingly irreconcilable in her double exhibition Figure & Abstraction, Silvia Siemes – Michael Cleff. On the one hand, we have figures sculpted by Silvia Siemes. Born in 1960 and an alumna of the Academy of Arts in Bremen, she creates seemingly faded, minimalistic, terracotta figures, contemporary effigies, lost to themselves, seated, standing, brooding, gazing at something distant and visible only to them, as though reverie had transported them beyond the contexts of their lives. Enchantingly beautiful and coolly aloof, these modern or postmodern figures of yearning seem positively classical in their sculptural conception. On the other hand, Heller showcases utterly reference-free stoneware artworks by Michael Cleff, who was born in 1961 and studied at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf. Cleff’s newest pieces for the wall have relict-like outlines: some of them confront us as angular, stepped, closed, compact bodies, others as coarse, little, floating, machine blocks covered in matte black or white engobe. Despite their apparent origin in precise planning and clear construction, closer scrutiny makes them seem somehow disconcerting. The ambiguous and enigmatic quality, which evokes thoughts of paradoxical buildings, continues into their construction method and materiality.

Michael Cleff, Cyborg.

Silvia Siemes, Bleiben, Warten.

Silvia Siemes, Lichtfänger.


  • Galerie Marianne Heller
    Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 2
    Im Stadtgarten
    69117 Heidelberg, Deutschland
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