Whitney Biennial 2014

Solo en Inglès

Hear directly from artists as they discuss the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2014 Biennial. The guide also features commentary from Biennial curators Stuart Comer, Anthony Elms, and Michelle Grabner.

411—Sheila Hicks


SHEILA HICKS: My work is reliant on material, and most generally and most often, fiber. 

NARRATOR: Sheila Hicks. 

SHEILA HICKS: Not the kind of fiber you eat, but the kind of fiber that comes from plants or is man made, and is twisted and plied, and made into thread. 

Let's not consider this a weaving, and let's not consider it a textile. Because if you look at it closely, you realize it's just a long, long, long line that twists and moves around, and connects within itself.

I invite you to look upward, and then slowly look downward. I want my work to hit the floor in a very emphatic way so it hits the floor, spills, puddles, and looks as though it's alive.


NARRATOR: Hicks thought carefully about the Museum building when designing the installation. 


SHEILA HICKS: The floor is a very solid floor. It's not carpeted. It's not wood. It's no agglomeration of who knows what. It's a very solid, real material. Everything in that space gives you the feeling of authenticity of material. Therefore I wanted to bring in fiber, my material, and work with it in contrast and in compliment to those materials.


Sheila Hicks, _Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column_, 2013-14. Acrylic, linen, cotton, bamboo, and silk, 204 x 48 x 48 in. (518.2 x 121.9 x 121.9 cm). Collection of the artist; courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York