Demisch Danant Presents SEANCE, an Interactive Installation by American Artist Sheila Hicks, 6/17-22

Demisch Danant Presents SEANCE, an Interactive Installation by American Artist Sheila Hicks, 6/17-22

Demisch Danant is pleased to present Se?ance, a new large- scale interactive installation by celebrated American artist Sheila Hicks, as part of the inaugural Design At Large program hosted by Design Miami/Basel. On view 17 - 22 June, Hicks' work will be among projects selected for the program by curator Dennis Freedman, Creative Director of Barneys New York.

The work of Sheila Hicks (born 1934 in Hastings, Nebraska) effortlessly navigates the terrain of fine art, design, and artisanal and industrial production. In her critically acclaimed fiber-based constructions, which range from envelope-size minimes to monumental architectural installations, masses of wool, linen, cotton, silk, paper, rubber, metallics, plant and animal material, and synthetic man made fibers intertwine, cascade, spill or hang freely from walls or ceilings, often tumbling into coils on the floor. Hicks' textured linear compositions amplify the character of her chosen materials, cohering into three-dimensional calligraphic drawings or sculptures that loop and dance in space.

Hicks, who founded her Atelier in Paris in 1964, has produced work of astonishing variety. But a single preoccupation unites and animates every part of her oeuvre: the language of color. For Design At Large, Hicks has created Se?ance, an interactive installation that invites visitors to engage as participants in her ongoing study of color as a "determinant regulator" or medium in art and design. The work on view utilizes a new, synthetic color-fast textile-produced in Turkey, processed in Western Europe, and woven in the United States. This textile originates as pure powdered pigment, which is combined with a binding agent to create a pliable fiber. The material can thus be thought of as a translation of color into a three-dimensional form, which Hicks compounds through her site-specific intervention in the Herzog & De Meuron-designed space of Messe Basel.

Among the elements of Se?ance are a massive suspended column and dozens of large, intensely colored, boulder-like "bundles" that lean against each other and invite inspection. In the center of these fiber sculptures stands a 'color table' offering trays of hand-painted wooden blocks. Visitors are encouraged to use these to create color combinations guided by their own personal associations. They can then share and trade with other participants to create a unique color narrative. Se?ance thus invites visitors to participate in Hicks' color play, one of the most fundamental aspects of her art and design process.

Se?ance is inspired by the creative process behind a new line of interior paint currently under development by Sheila Hicks and Demisch Danant. The project will remain on view through 22 June at Design Miami/Basel.

Demisch Danant would like to thank Sheila Hicks Atelier, Kremer Pigmente, Sunbrella and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. for their generous support of this exhibition.

About the Artist

Sheila Hicks received her BFA from Yale University where she studied painting under Josef Albers, the renowned color theorist of the Bauhaus and author of the seminal Interaction of Color. Upon completing her studies, Hicks traveled extensively throughout Central and South America where she developed an interest in working with fiber. Having lived in Mexico and Chile, she settled in Paris in 1964. Hicks is renowned for her painterly approach to textile design and an ability to craft environments through the medium of fiber. She has collaborated with prominent architects including Luis Barragan, Ricardo Legorreta, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Her work defies categorization, simultaneously addressing several related mediums including painting, sculpture, design, and installation. Hicks's work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including critically acclaimed recent museum shows at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City and the Institutue of Contemporary Art Philadelphia. Her work is included in the Whitney Museum of Art's current Whitney Biennial 2014, and a large-scale installation for the Palais de Tokyo opened in April 2014. Sheila Hicks' art is included in major museum collections internationally at such prestigious institutions as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Photo Credit: View of the Sheila Hicks' exhibition "Bao?li," 2014
Palais de Tokyo, Paris
Image courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.
Photo: Aure?lien Mole.