Sheila Hicks: 50 Years
March 24 – August 7, 2011
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) presents Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, the first major retrospective to honor this extraordinary American artist, organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art, where it was curated by Joan Simon and Susan C. Faxon. Sheila Hicks has built an international reputation with her two- and three-dimensional works in fiber. Her remarkably far-reaching artistic focus has encompassed painting, sculpture, photography, weaving, fabric design, writing, publishing, teaching and collaborations with architects. Her early work of the 1960s was at the forefront of experimentation in sculpture. By the 1980s it had taken hold. Since that time, her unique work has explored the dynamic interactions of color and the skills required to hone an aesthetic vision in multiple media.
Sheila Hicks, May I Have This Dance?, 2002-03, installation view. Photo: Aaron Igler/Greenhouse Media.
Featuring more than 90 of her most important works, including a major installation of a work on loan from Target's headquarters in Minneapolis displayed in an entirely new iteration, this exhibition offers insight into Hicks's thinking, her processes, and her approach to materials, both fibers and found objects. The project reveals the continuities between the artist's small weavings, and free-standing wrapped sculptures, and a colossal 20-foot high work suspended from ceiling and cascading from wall. Hicks's exceptional body of work blurs boundaries between art, design, and architecture just as deftly as it crisscrosses cultures.
Born in Hastings, Nebraska in 1934 and a resident of Paris since 1964, Hicks is a pioneering figure noted for small woven works and public commissions whose structures are built of color and texture. Independent in spirit and itinerant in practice, she deliberately and provocatively engages what are often considered mutually exclusive domains, rethinking and pushing the limits of generally accepted contexts, conditions, and frameworks. These include distinct objects and temporal, performative actions, studio works and commissions for public buildings, design for industrial serial production in Germany, France, Japan and Sweden, and hand weaving in artisanal workshops in Mexico, Chile, India, Morocco, and South Africa.
ListenExplore the idea of weaving in the cultural landscape with scholars who address these ideas in their own fields and works in the exhibition.
Sheila Hicks: 50 Years is organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts, and co-curated by independent curator Joan Simon and Addison Gallery Associate Director and Curator Susan Faxon. At ICA, the exhibition is coordinated by Curator Jenelle Porter.
Sheila Hicks: 50 Years is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue copublished by the Addison Gallery of American Art and Yale University Press. Essays include Joan Simon, "Sheila Hicks: A Singular Practice, Fifty Years"; Susan Faxon, "Foundation and Exploration: The Education of an Artist"; and Whitney Chadwick, "Ancient Lines and Modernist Cubes." $65
This exhibition will also be accompanied by a publication illustrating ICA's installation with an essay by Curator Jenelle Porter.
After the close of this exhibition at ICA, Sheila Hicks: 50 Years will travel to the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 1, 2011-January 29, 2012.
Exhibition Walkthrough (ICA Members Only)
Thursday, March 24, 5PM
With artist Sheila Hicks and ICA organizing curator Jenelle Porter, with exhibition curators Joan Simon and Susan Faxon.
Lecture: Sheila Hicks at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Friday, March 25, 6:30PM
Location: 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Sheila Hicks, whose remarkable career is surveyed in the retrospective exhibition Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, speaks about her painterly and sculptural work in fiber during this special PMA lecture. This evening's talk is a rare opporunity for randomly selected attendees to participate in building on, touching, and feeling a work that has been in storage at the PMA for many years.
Free tickets required after Museum admission.
Weaving as Metaphor Lecture Series
Explore the idea of weaving in the cultural landscape through a series of programs inspired by the work of Sheila Hicks. Four dynamic Philadelphiaarea scholars will draw out these ideas in their own fields—architecture, economics, science, and religion—unraveling the ways weaving threads through so much of the contemporary and the ancient world. The series commences:
The ICA presentation of Sheila Hicks: 50 Years has been made possible by primary sponsorship from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative. Additional funding has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; The Dietrich Foundation, Inc.; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art; friends and members of ICA; the University of Pennsylvania; and Elaine Hornick Finkelstein. ICA acknowledges Le Meridien Philadelphia as our official Unlock ArtTM partner hotel. In-kind support provided by Target.
Music: with Michael Gallope, PhD Candidate, Music, NYU; Graduate Student Research Fellow, NYU Humanities Initiative
Whenever Wednesday, March 30, 6:30PM
Architecture: with Jenny Sabin; Department of Architecture, Scool of Design, and Director, Sabin+Jones LabStudio
Whenever Wednesday, April 6, 6:30PM
Economics: with Phil Nichols, Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Chair Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, University of Pennsylvania
Whenever Wednesday, April 13, 6:30PM
Religion: with Lucy Fowler Williams, Sabloff Keeper of Collections at the Penn Museum
Whenever Wednesday, April 27, 6:30PM
On the occasion of Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, we are producing a publication illustrating ICA's installation with generous support from the Barbara B. & Theodore R. Aronson Endowment Fund.
The Addison Gallery of American Art wishes to thank the J. Mark Rudkin Charitable Foundation, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., Saundra B. Lane, The Poss Family Foundation, Nancy B. Tieken, Able Trust, Target Corporation, Friends of Fiber Art International, Dirck and Lee Born, and several anonymous donors for their generous support for the exhibition and publication.
images: Sheila Hicks, Bamian (Banyan), 1968/2001, wool, wool twisted with acrylic; dimensions variable. Private collection. Sheila Hicks, La Clef, 1988, rubber bands, metak key; 9 1/2 x 6 inches. Private collection. Photo: Bastiaan van den Berg.