Sheila Hicks Apprentissages

[Visual Arts & Performance]

In 1964, Sheila Hicks chose to come to Paris to live her life and set up her workshop. Born in Nebraska in 1934, she was a student of Josef Albers and Georges Kubler at Yale School of Art and Architecture. Fresh from the experience of her travels in Latin America and five years spent in Mexico, her Parisian workshop became the centre for an open body of work, in which fibres and textiles give shape to a tactile “international language” of great sensitivity and immediacy. For her, creation is a process which is in a continual state of flux, nourished by dialogues and encounters, as well as the study of cultures and techniques, and influence of the different architectural spaces.

Apprentissages is a three-part journey, taking place from September to December, in the form of a series of appearances, each linked in its own intimate way to Parisian geography. First off is the Musée Carnavelet, in which the universe of Sheila Hicks enters into a dialogue with the eclectic architecture of this museum dedicated to the history of Paris, notably in the Hôtel Carnavalet gallery, on the garden side, overlooking the Cour des Marchands-Drapiers. Secondly, we will be given the opportunity to discover, in the course of various urban promenades, an ensemble of window spaces inhabited by the characteristic gestures of her chromatic, pictorial and textile-based vocabulary. Lastly, within the huge expanses of the construction workshop at the Nanterre-Amandiers theatre, specially opened to the public for the occasion, the artist will be re-exhibiting, in the midst of this resolutely modern architecture, her previously exhibited works. Partly because nothing is ever fixed in stone, and also because we always need to see things with fresh eyes, Apprentissages seeks to be a journey of “initiation” of an open nature, in which the encounter with art and matter enriches the shared experience, of our bodies, and our memory, that of the artist and of each of us alike.

Since the 1960’s, Sheila Hicks has been developing her work poised at the balancing point between the applied arts and contemporary art. In 2016, notably, she participated in the 20th Biennale of Sydney, Glasgow International Festival and the Weaving & We–2nd Triennial of Fiber Art in Hangzhou. During the same year, the Joslyn Art Museum d’Omaha (Nebraska) will be dedicating a retrospective to her work entitled Sheila Hicks: Material Voices. In France, she exhibited in 2014 at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and the Consortium (Dijon). Exhibitions overseas included the 30th Sao Paulo Biennale in 2012, the Whitney Biennale (New York) in 2014 and at the Hayward Gallery (London) in 2015.