Friday, December 4, 2009

Sheila Hicks—Weaving as Metaphor















Sheila Hicks’s miniatures have inspired me since I first laid eyes on them a few years ago when they were exhibited at the Bard Graduate Center in Manhattan. The remarkable weavings are colorful and compositionally dynamic. They are both 2 and 3-dimensional in form and some are assemblages made from found objects. For 50+ years Ms. Hicks has taken a small wooden frame around the globe to create notebook size weavings of the intimate kind. These pieces started when she was an art student at Yale. By her own estimate she has made more than 1000 of them. Ms. Hicks has referred to the miniatures as “personal expressions”, “private investigations” and also to lighten matters, “ramblings”. These pieces have informed her conceptual ideas, material explorations and large scale commissions. “I found my voice and my footing in my small work. It enabled me to build bridges between art, design, architecture, and decorative arts.” —Sheila Hicks, 2004

Check out the review of the show and interview with Ms. Hicks from The New York Times.

The show’s catalogue was designed by renowned Dutch book designer Irma Boom and is a noteworthy piece of design. The hefty deckle-edges give the book a handmade quality that refer to the subject poetically. It’s a book (415 pages) that begs to be held and touch. The book construction is mind boggling. I’m not sure how they achieved deckling the edges on all sides—top, bottom and sides. The book is printed in Holland by Drukkerij Rosbeek and is in it’s second printing. If you can find this book you should get it. Metropolis has an interview with Ms. Boom which she speaks about her design approach and the making of the Sheila Hicks’s book.


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