Dispatch from Mexico | Sheila Hicks – Free Threads

Curated by Frédéric Bonnet
November 4th, 2017 – April 2nd, 2018
Museo Amparo
2 Sur 708, Centro Histórico
7200 Puebla, Pue., México

Today we came across the most beautiful upcoming exhibition being held at Museo Amparo in Puebla, Mexico. The major exhibition is dedicated to Sheila Hicks; the first in Mexico after her collaboration with Antonio Souza Gallery in 1962.

Sheila Hicks - Free Threads, Textile and its Pre-Columbian Roots, 1954-2017 offers a new and
original interpretation of her work, allowing to appreciate a large number of works that have not
been exposed for several decades, including some made in Mexico in the 1960s.

With approximately 120 pieces made at different times, as well as numerous photographs and
archival documents, the exhibition will provide a broad overview of her artistic work, allowing to
highlight their Latin American roots and influences.

A student of Josef Albers at Yale University, Sheila Hicks received a solid pictorial training, a
medium in which she made her first works - two oil paintings from 1954 and 1957, never exhibited
before, are to be displayed in this exhibition. It was during that period that she developed a
sensitivity marked by the power and effects of color.

Let's take a look!

Her work underwent a radical change in 1957 when she began a series of trips through Chile and
the region, during which she became acquainted with Pre-Columbian textiles and ancient Andean
weaving techniques. Through this approach, the exhibition aims to confront Sheila Hicks’ art with
20 Pre-Columbian textiles from the collections of the Museo de Arte de Lima.

Bamboo, acrylic fiber, slate, coins, cotton, wool, metal wire, linen
Courtesy of the artist and of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

This exhibition proposes a new reading, emphasizing that the achievements of her training in the
field of abstract painting did not disappear when her work turned to textiles, which led the artist
to address pictorial abstraction in a unique way, which manifested itself very quickly through an
openness to spatial concerns.

Textile Fresco, c. 1969
Five panels formed from twisted skeins of linen, silk, cotton
Courtesy of the artist and Demish Danant, New York, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris. 

In addition to these pictorial and structural considerations, the importance of architecture and
decoration in the art of Sheila Hicks are explored, as well as color considered as form and texture,
and language issues.

Perruque aubergine, 1987
Cotton and synthetic rafia
Courtesy of the artist

Convergence (Vermala), 2007
Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

Torsados, 2017
Courtesy of the artist 

Inca Chinchero, 2017
Courtesy of the artist

Blue Gros Point, c. 1990s (detail)
Courtesy of the artist and Demish Danant, New York

Woven Tapestry (Magenta), c. 1975
Mohair wool, synthetic fibers
Private collection

Faja, 1956-66
Wool, cotton
Courtesy of the artist

A gallery dedicated to the Andean and Mexican contexts will include Hicks’ travel documents on
Latin America, her thesis on Pre-Columbian textiles, presented at Yale University in 1957, and
records of her years in Mexico as a witness and participant in the creative turmoil of the time,
during which she met important figures like Felix Candela, Luis Barragán and Mathias Goertiz.

So if you're in or near Mexico City this November, be sure to head down to Puebla for this amazing exhibit.

Sheila Hicks – Free Threads
November 4th, 2017 – April 2nd, 2018
Museo Amparo
2 Sur 708, Centro Histórico
7200 Puebla, Pue., México


Jan Halvarson

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That first photo was so arresting--the colors, the setting.
What interesting works Sheila Hicks has created. It would be wonderful to see them in person, to appreciate the textures up close and the overall work from standing back.
I hadn't given much thought to textile art, and you have opened my eyes and mind. Thank you!