Sheila Hicks, born in Nebraska in 1934, has lived and worked in Paris since 1964. She began as a painter, but soon broadened the scope of her artistic output using soft materials and drawing inspiration from ancestral art, particularly pre-Columbian. Her wrapped, woven, embroidered, knotted and twisted works are made of fibres both natural and man-made and systematically transcend strictly pictorial or sculptural genres as they assimilate the open space.
The artist deploys all manner of resources in her experiments. It is her belief that each material speaks its own language, defined by properties such as color, thickness, and haptic quality. By merging, within the same work, highly disparate and even unexpected color tones, textures and materials, she initiates a conversation in which each voice has its own place, a conversation in which we, too, are invited to take part. Indeed, she invokes our most elementary visual and tactile experiences, those we acquire in the very first years of our existence. Based essentially on the physical and the sensory, this primitive experience constitutes a resource inherent in humanity, and therefore universal, even if it is most often buried, not to say repressed, by society. Both steeped in this pre-conscious inner world (founded on ancient reminiscences) and deeply inspired by nature, which is ubiquitous within her oeuvre, Sheila Hicks’s works allow a multitude of infinitely poetic associations.