Sheila Hicks – Pillar of Inquiry

Sheila Hicks is an incredibly skilled and experienced artist, having received her BFA and MFA from Yale University back in the 1950s and has been practicing since then to today. She was born in Nebraska but spent a lot of time in Central and South America thanks to a Fullbright scholarship to paint in Chile. Though she founded workshops in Chile, Mexico, and South Africa, she still wanted to travel and worked in Morocco and India before finally deciding to mostly settle in Paris where she spends most of her time today. Hicks has showed in both solo and group exhibitions or has artworks in museums across most of the globe including Brazil, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Santiago, Seoul, Jerusalem, London, Paris, New York, Philadelphia, and even Charlotte.

Her piece “Pillar of Inquiry” stands out to me as a 3D drawing, despite being fiber, because of the distinctive linear elements. As a huge cluster of cascading, thick strands, it has an appearance almost like dripping paint. They don’t fall completely straight, the strands having knots and twists in them, making it seem as if gravity is fighting to pull it but it fights back in little ways. As a 3D artwork, it is hard to deny that it is physically dimensional but it also falls down from a hole in the ceiling as if from a different plane of existence.

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