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SHEILA HICKS: Thread, Trees, River

Mak – Museo delle Arti Applicate di Vienna

Opening Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 10 a.m./7 p.m.  –  Free admission
Exhibition Venue MAK Exhibition Hall, Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna
Exhibition Dates 10 December 2020 – 18 April 2021

Dynamic, sensually enticing, infinitely colorful, delicately intimate, and often monumental and space-defining: the fabrics, sculptures, and installations of artist Sheila Hicks challenge traditional notions of art and explore new territories. Hicks is a virtuoso in textile vocabularies and their historical traditions, interweaving the fine arts with design, the applied arts, and architecture to create objects and environments in which materiality, tactility, form, and color—ranging from the subtle to the vibrantly luminous—become a fascinating language of their own. In the MAK exhibition SHEILA HICKS: Thread, Trees, River, her first solo show in Austria, the artist presents both recent and familiar works with room-filling sculptures, relating them to the architecture.

Sheila Hicks, Escalade Beyond Chromatic Lands, 2017, Installation view, Arsenale, Venice Biennale, Photo: Cristobal Zanartu, © VG Bild-Kunst

Born in Nebraska (1934), Sheila Hicks, trained as a painter, sees fibers and textiles as more than merely working materials, regarding them as both archaic and contemporary media linking interdisciplinary fields around the globe. Exploring and working in different cultures since the 1950s, she has been one of the most significant figures in contemporary art, whose multifaceted creations are characterized by an amazing sense of color and by intense engagement with architecture and photography. Inspired by the concepts of the Wiener Werkstätte and the Bauhaus, Hicks transcends media, national, and gender boundaries – emphasizing the vast sociopolitical connotations of textiles. Her immensely rich knowledge of indigenous weaving practices—gleaned from working in North and Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Asia—is integral to her multi-faceted work.

In the monographic exhibition SHEILA HICKS: Thread, Trees, River, the artist presents four thematic sceneries that highlight different aspects of her wide ranging oeuvre. A se-ries of monumental Prayer Rugs (1970–1974) created in Morocco, interacts with the Tor zum Garten [Door to the Garden] (1990) by Walter Pichler (1936–2012), symbolizing the transition between inner and outer space. Her works, executed in a variety of knotting and weaving techniques, explore the theme of cultural appropriation. The bas-relief panels or rugs—embedded in a secular context—hung on the walls, inspire and direct the occidental gaze to hidden perspectives. The uplifting arched forms symbolize the ambivalence of ties whose tension is created by the simplest of means, juxtaposing the closing and drawing of borders, an ideal of all-encompassing openness.

Eventi

SHEILA HICKS: Thread, Trees, River

Mak – Museo delle Arti Applicate di Vienna

Apertura Mercoledì 9 dicembre 2020, ore 10.00/19.0  –  Ingresso libero
Sede della mostra Sala espositiva MAK, Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna
Date della mostra 10 dicembre 2020 – 18 aprile 2021

Dinamici, sensualmente allettanti, infinitamente colorati, delicatamente intimi, spesso monumentali e che definiscono lo spazio: i tessuti, le sculture e le installazioni dell’artista Sheila Hicks sfidano le nozioni tradizionali di arte ed esplorano nuovi territori. Hicks è una virtuosa dei vocabolari tessili e delle loro tradizioni storiche, intreccia le belle arti con il design, le arti applicate e l’architettura per creare oggetti e ambienti in cui la materialità, la tattilità, la forma e il colore, che vanno dallo sfumato al vivacemente luminoso. diventano un affascinante linguaggio tutto loro. Nella mostra MAK SHEILA HICKS: Thread, Trees, River, la sua prima mostra personale in Austria, l’artista presenta opere recenti e familiari con sculture che riempiono le stanze, mettendole in relazione con l’architettura.

Sheila Hicks, Escalade Beyond Chromatic Lands, 2017, Installation view, Arsenale, Venice Biennale, Photo: Cristobal Zanartu, © VG Bild-Kunst

Nata nel Nebraska (1934), Sheila Hicks, formatasi come pittrice, vede le fibre e i tessuti come qualcosa di più che semplici materiali di lavoro, considerandoli media sia arcaici che contemporanei, che collegano campi interdisciplinari in tutto il mondo. Esplorando e lavorando in culture diverse dagli anni ’50, è stata una delle figure più significative dell’arte contemporanea, le cui creazioni sfaccettate sono caratterizzate da uno straordinario senso del colore e da un intenso coinvolgimento con l’architettura e la fotografia. Ispirata dai concetti della Wiener Werkstätte e del Bauhaus, Hicks trascende i confini dei media, delle nazioni e di genere, sottolineando le vaste connotazioni sociopolitiche dei tessuti. La sua conoscenza immensamente ricca delle pratiche di tessitura indigene, acquisita lavorando in Nord e America Latina, Europa, Africa, Medio Oriente, India e Asia, è parte integrante del suo lavoro multiforme.