Blurring the lines between art, design, crafts and architecture are Sheila Hicks’s woven forms. Currently on view at The Whitney Biennial is her Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, what I believe to be one of the strongest pieces of the show. The last Biennial that will be held in the Marcel Breuer designed building, Hicks engages the building’s somewhat brutalist bones with a waterfall of colorful cords cascading from the ceilings open coffers. Unfurling through space Hicks activates the strong modernist architectural elements that are an innate part of the building and its programming. Interestingly, as Marcel Breuer was a Bauhaus-trained architect, Hicks studied under the former Bauhaus instructor Josef Albers at the Yale School of Art, perhaps giving her a unique understanding and appreciation of the space. Albers believed that art is spirit, and only the quality of spirit gives the arts an important place in life. It is this open-ended spirit of discovery and experimentation that is the common thread through Sheila Hicks’s work. Wanting more I led myself to her concurrent exhibit at Sikkema Jenkins & Co., where she again engages the space with her soft supple forms. I chose this bright-purple embroidered lace dress by House of Holland. Detailed with rock candy like buttons and floral cutouts, the dress is at once about so many things woven into a beautiful geometry.
House of Holland dress, Miu Miu sandals
The Whitney Biennial & Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Sheila Hicks
Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Makeup & Nails by Candy J., Photographs by Tylor Hou