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Sheila Hicks

Sheila Hicks, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14 (installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York). Collection of the artist; courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. Photograph by Bill Orcutt

Sheila Hicks, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14 (installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York). Collection of the artist; courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. Photograph by Bill Orcutt

Born 1934 in Hastings, NE
Lives and works in New York, NY, and Paris, France

This cascading installation is one of the most massive produced by Sheila Hicks since she began working with textiles, or “supple materials” as she refers to her medium, in the late 1950s. As with many of her other large-scale works, Hicks designed the piece with the architecture of the gallery in mind. Of interest to her here are the coffered, open design of the ceiling and the sense of solidity she found in the stone floor. By extending the cords so they unfurl from the ceiling and coil on the floor, she hopes to activate viewers’ awareness of these architectural elements.

Trained as a painter, Hicks became interested in global, and particularly South American, textile traditions, going on to develop her distinctive merger of painting, sculpture, drawing, and weaving. For her, the way that the richly colored lines of her pieces move and intersect is a form of drawing in three dimensions.

Also on view in the Biennial are four smaller works by Hicks, made from threads of silk, paper, pineapple fiber, and cotton.

On View

Fourth Floor

Sheila Hicks’s work is on view in the Museum’s fourth floor galleries.

Works by Sheila Hicks

Sheila Hicks, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14 (installation view, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York). Collection of the artist; courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York. Photograph by Bill Orcutt
Sheila Hicks, Study for Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, 2013-14. Photograph by Cristobal Zanartu. Courtesy the artist