Sheila Hicks, Bas-relief panel for architectural project, 2014-15, linen, 29,8 x 61 cm / 11 3/4 x 23 5/8 in, collection of the artist
Photo: Michael Brzezinski, courtesy Alison Jacques Gallery, London
“In all of the cultures of the world, textile is a crucial and essential component. Therefore, if you’re beginning with thread, you’re half way home. There’s a level of familiarity that immediately breaks down any prejudice.” — Sheila Hicks
Material Voices honours this world-renowned, Paris-based American artist’s unique vision, examining how her visual language has been shaped by memory, place and materiality. One of today’s most influential figures working with textiles, Sheila Hicks has redefined the role of fibre and thread in contemporary art practices. Drawing on global weaving traditions, painting, sculpture and architecture, the artist’s compositions combine an aptitude for colour, line and texture with an inimitable understanding of grand architectural space as well as intimate, personal moments.
Including over 60 works of art, the exhibition spans 50 years of the artist’s prolific career, capturing the renowned breadth of her oeuvre from large-scale installations to small weavings alongside free-standing sculptures that combine supple materials with found objects and recent watercolours and mohair drawings on paper.
“We are thrilled to host the first major presentation of Ms. Hicks’ work in Canada,” says TMC Curatorial Director Sarah Quinton. “The deep influence of her lifetime of artistic practice is felt by artists around the world, and with this exhibition our audiences will gain new understandings of the lasting impressions of her early childhood in Nebraska and later formative years, when she traveled extensively in Mexico and South America with a focus on the landscape and local textile traditions.”
Placing older work in conversation with the new, Material Voices evokes Sheila Hicks' understanding of her practice as a continuous, open field that allows for innovation, appropriation and constant reinvention that find expression in delicate woven studies and largescaled commissioned installations.