Sheila Hicks : Foray into Chromatic Zones
Nebraskan-raised Sheila Hicks, born in 1934, has yet to stand still. Educated at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture between the years of 1954 and 1959, Hicks has taken inspiration from, and exhibited her art in, the many cities she has lived and worked in, among them Guerrero, Mexico and Paris, France. Reflecting on her peripatetic professional life in celebration of her new exhibition at the Southbank Centre, Hicks has commented that travel and research, like life and work, are reciprocal, one continually informing the other in the artist’s quest for expression.
Though guided by a studied, deeply personal conception of her craft, Hicks’ work is diverse, every new collection a fresh exploration. Past exhibitions, held in public and private venues across the world, have showcased a range of her work, from miniatures to wall hangings and sculptures. Here, fantastical, physically formidable works such as Nomad Treasure Bales dominate the space, while Drawings With Fiber I, III, IV and VI – depicting inky forms comprised of mohair on rice paper – hint at creative maturity. Yet the centrepiece, Palitos con Bolas/Conductor Batone, is arguably not the centrepiece. Consisting of wool, cotton, wood, silk and bamboo, the piece is materially striking, but decidedly dislocated from the considered space it is situated within.
Foray into Chromatic Zones is a modest collection by an artist with a rich heritage, offering a fresh perspective on the classification of art forms in its challenge of the strict distinction between art and craft. Hicks’ chaotic use of vibrant colours is brought out against the expansive London skyline; the Hayward Gallery’s project space isolates and accentuates the collection’s power.
Sheila Hicks: Foray into Chromatic Zones is at Southbank Centre from 23rd February until 19th April 2015, for further information visit here.