Lot 200: Sheila Hicks
Retains the emblem of Galerie Alice Pauli
Approximately 44" x 258"
This work was commissioned by Winston-Salem Savings and Loan Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The work was woven by the artist in Kerala, South India and finished in her Paris, France atelier.
Provenance: Winston-Salem Savings and Loan Building, Winston-Salem, North Carolina;
Private Collection, North Carolina (acquired directly from the above)
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Situated at the intersection of art, design, and architecture, the work of the trailblazing fiber artist Sheila Hicks (born 1934) defies easy categorization. Like her teacher Anni Albers, Hicks elevated textile and weaving above domestic handicraft to the stratum of fine art. Hicks, like her Yale classmate Eva Hesse, forged a new acceptance of soft and unusual materials for art making. Especially significant is her weavings' vibrancy. Bold hues and distinctive forms propel Hicks's work toward an altogether original niche: neither sculpture nor painting but some transcendent combination of the two. As the art historian Joan Simon has written, Hicks's "works continually press at the frontiers where the conceptual rigors and structural possibilities of textiles and the conceptual provocations, improvisatory mark-making, and the formal disruption of color, form, and texture of painterly drawing might meet and animate each other."
As an artist working principally with fiber, Hicks shares the same concerns for surfaces and environments as an architect might. She, too, builds habitats, only abstractly and with materials like cotton yarn, wool, and silk. Since the late 1960s, Hicks has turned out monumental wall hangings for installation in public spaces, the present lot included. Her textiles have been commissioned for buildings by such architectural giants of the past fifty years as Eero Saarinen, Ricardo Legorreta, and Kevin Roche. Rarely have they become available to the private collector.
Simon, Joan, Susan C. Faxon, and Whitney Chadwick. Sheila Hicks: 50 Years. Andover, MA: Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, 2010. Print. Danto, Arthur C., Joan Simon, Nina Stritzler-Levine, and Irma Boom. Sheila Hicks: Weaving as Metaphor. New Haven: Yale UP, 2006. Print.