4 June31 July 2021

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Hicks sees fibre in its multiple forms as an integral part of life in every corner of the world.1

Alison Jacques is proud to present ‘Music to My Eyes’, an exhibition of new work by Sheila Hicks and the artist’s third solo show at the gallery. The exhibition anticipates a major solo show at The Hepworth Wakefield (April 2022), curated by Andrew Bonacina, Hicks’s first survey in a UK museum.

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‘Music to My Eyes’ responds to Hicks’s lifelong relationship with colour and thread. Throughout her 70-year career, which continues to flourish, the Nebraska-born, Paris-based artist has endeavoured to bestow upon fibre an independent voice, allowing form, colour and texture to dictate its own progression through space. As Hicks notes: ‘Thread is the universal language. It could become a hammock, or a fishing net, or a hat, or a home… It’s the first thing you feel in the morning when you wake up in your bed sheets, then you step on a rug, you pick up a towel…’

Hicks’s third solo exhibition at Alison Jacques centres around suspended bas-relief sculptures in various natural fibres – linen, cotton, silk – that encourage a certain manner of visual listening. ‘Usually, sound enters through your ears,’ Hicks says of these newly produced works, ‘but I invite participation and perception through your eyes. One can detect subtle harmonies, discover intricate structures, complex sequences, and enjoy an infinite range of colours, as when you listen to music.’

Upon entering the gallery, a constellation of round, wall-based sculptural ‘Comets’ will be illuminated, day and night, for the duration of the exhibition. A chorus of works from Hicks’s ‘Boules’ series, created in the artist’s Paris atelier under the conditions of captivité that have defined much of the past year, are arranged in the side gallery, while new versions of Hicks’s iconic ‘Lianes’ works and double-sided bas-reliefs complete the ensemble.

‘Music to My Eyes’ amounts to a visual concert. Just as instruments are arranged in order to heighten their collective impact, so too have these sculptural objects and reliefs been orchestrated to elicit an instant sensory and emotional response. ‘To be here and now, seeking harmony’, Hicks says of her intentions with the exhibition. ‘To make immediate impact and, hopefully, leave lasting impressions.’

Hicks has been the subject of many major solo museum exhibitions worldwide, most recently: MAK, Vienna (2020); The Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2019); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2019); Museo Chileno de arte Precolombino, Santiago (2019); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018), and Amparo Museum, Puebla (2018). In 2017, Hicks presented a new commission in the garden of the Palace of Versailles, Paris; and in 2016 she became the first artist to create a site-specific installation for Dan Graham’s pavilion at the Hayward Gallery, London.

Hicks’s work has been acquired by major museums worldwide including: Art Institute of Chicago; Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery, Washington DC; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

  1. Caroline Roux, ‘Narrative Thread’, Financial Times, 2021

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Works

Lianes Colsa, 2020

Linen
180 x 250 cm (70 7/8 x 98 3/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Arc-en-ciel, 2021

Linen, cotton and wool
280 x 100 cm (110 1/4 x 39 3/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Constellation, 2018–20

Synthetic fibres, cotton, linen and silk
16 elements; overall: 171 x 395 cm (67 3/8 x 155 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Peace Barrier, 2018

Linen
Two panels; individual: 150 x 150 cm (59 1/8 x 59 1/8 in); overall: 150 x 300 cm (59 1/8 x 118 1/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Wave Wave Wave, 2021

Linen
100 x 100 cm (39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Ripe Rip, 2019

Linen, wood and aluminium
130 x 170 cm (51 1/8 x 66 7/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Untitled, 2021

Linen
150 x 150 cm (59 1/8 x 59 1/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Untitled, 2021

Linen
150 x 150 cm (59 1/8 x 59 1/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Consensual Conversation, 2021

Linen and wool
120 x 120 cm (47 1/4 x 47 1/4 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Partner of Mercurial, 2021

Linen
120 x 100 cm (47 1/4 x 39 3/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Generosity, 2021

Linen
120 x 100 cm (47 1/4 x 39 3/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Treasured Moments Shared, 2021

Synthetic fibres and cotton
Diameter: 95 cm (37 3/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

No Turning Back, 2021

Synthetic fibres and cotton
Diameter: 85 cm (33 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Roch Nel, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
43 x 45 x 18 cm (16 7/8 x 17 3/4 x 7 1/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Ouessant, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
48 x 45 x 19 cm (18 7/8 x 17 3/4 x 7 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Phare de Creach, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
31 x 32 x 11 cm (12 1/4 x 12 5/8 x 4 3/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Phare de Stiff, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
36 x 37 x 14 cm (14 1/8 x 14 5/8 x 5 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Penn ar Rugel, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
38 x 34 x 17 cm (15 x 13 3/8 x 6 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Lampaul, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
37 x 37 x 19 cm (14 5/8 x 14 5/8 x 7 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Bourg an Dour, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
34.5 x 36 x 14 cm (13 5/8 x 14 1/8 x 5 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Gwelten, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
31 x 36.5 x 15 cm (12 1/4 x 14 3/8 x 5 7/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Mean Melen, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
32 x 33 x 15 cm (12 5/8 x 13 x 5 7/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

Penn ar Roch, 2020

Linen, cotton and synthetic fibres
38 x 41 x 18 cm (15 x 16 1/8 x 7 1/8 in)
Courtesy: © Sheila Hicks

  • Lianes Colsa, 2020
  • Arc-en-ciel, 2021
  • Constellation, 2018–20
  • Peace Barrier, 2018
  • Wave Wave Wave, 2021
  • Ripe Rip, 2019
  • Untitled, 2021
  • Untitled, 2021
  • Consensual Conversation, 2021
  • Partner of Mercurial, 2021
  • Generosity, 2021
  • Treasured Moments Shared, 2021
  • No Turning Back, 2021
  • Roch Nel, 2020
  • Ouessant, 2020
  • Phare de Creach, 2020
  • Phare de Stiff, 2020
  • Penn ar Rugel, 2020
  • Lampaul, 2020
  • Bourg an Dour, 2020
  • Gwelten, 2020
  • Mean Melen, 2020
  • Penn ar Roch, 2020

Installation

Press

In the studio with… Sheila Hicks

Apollo

May 2021

Sheila Hicks: Narrative Thread

Caroline Roux, FT Weekend Magazine

May 2021

Video

Exhibition walkthrough

Related

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Artist Profile

Sheila Hicks: Thread, Trees, River

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Sheila Hicks: Off Grid

The Hepworth Wakefield