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Sheila Hicks
Hop, Skip, Jump, and Fly: Escape From Gravity


June 2017 – March 2018

On the High Line at the Western Rail Yards

For over 50 years, American artist Sheila Hicks has redefined the boundaries of fiber as a medium, creating a distinctive body of work that falls between the fields of fine art, craft, design, and architecture. Having studied at the Yale University School of Art under the tutelage of Josef Albers, a modern master of art education and color theory, Hicks is a sculptor of color just as much as of fiber. Her works range in scale from small minimes—weavings no larger than a half-sheet of letter paper—to immersive indoor and outdoor architectural environments composed of lavish color and texture.  In 1957, Hicks was awarded a Fulbright scholarship which provided her the opportunity to travel to Chile, marking the beginning of a transformative lifelong practice of teaching, research and art-making throughout South America, Mexico, South Africa, Morocco, and India, documented via weavings, writings, and photography.

For her High Line Commission, Hicks draws inspiration from the many kinetic elements that dance around the High Line: the ballet of construction vehicles at the Rail Yards; the multitudinous interwoven layers of construction mesh that cover buildings, scaffolding, and streetscapes; unfinished architectural lattices; and lace of hanging crane cables. Her vibrant installation comprised of twisting tubes of various types of colored fiber will crawl along the rails at the Western Rail Yards, surprising and delighting passerby.

The artist would like to express her gratitude to Cecilia Alemani, Jordan Benke, Melanie Kress, Hyatt Mannix, Michael Jenkins, Sascha Feldman, Pastiche Lumumba, Molly Ryan, Walker Seydell, Dean Roper, Julia Sinelnikova, Clovice Holt, Holden Brown, and Richard Kennedy.

Photo by Timothy Schenck

Sheila Hicks

Sheila Hicks (b. 1934, Hastings, Nebraska) lives and works in Paris, France. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented internationally at venues including the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska (2016); The Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2015); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2014); and the TextielMuseum, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2014).  Her work has been featured in international exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); Glasgow International, Glasgow, Scotland (2016); The Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, Hangzhou, China (2016); and the 57th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2017). Sheila Hicks is represented in the United States by Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.


Major support for High Line Art comes from Donald R. Mullen, Jr. and The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston. Additional funding is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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