Sheila Hicks studied painting at Yale University (1954-1959) with Joseph Albers and Herbert Mather. She received a Fubright grant and moved to Chile to paint from 1957 to 1958. There, Hicks began to develop an interest in textiles.
She photographed archaeological sites in the Andes and traveled to the volcanic region of Villarica and Tierra del Fuego.
Professor Henri Peyre at Yale University awarded her a scholarship to study in France in 1959. There she met the ethnologist Raoul D’Harcourt, a specialist in pre-Columbian textiles.
Sheila Hicks also made what she called “ropes” which she attached to woven backgrounds. When she lets them hang freely, or when she assembles skeins, she creates three-dimensional objects with threads.
The artist, in her studio hidden at the end of a passage in the heart of the Latin Quarter in Paris, directs a small team focused on the realization of the pieces. These pieces are often destined for architectural integrations around the world, including the impressive Theater Curtain at the Kiryu Cultural Center in Gumna, Japan in 2001.
Hicks has exhibited internationally in solo and group shows. She participated in the 2017 Venice Biennale, the 2014 Whitney Biennial in New York, and the 2012 São Paulo Biennale in Brazil.
Her recent solo presentations include “Lines of Life” at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2018 or “Fishing in The River” at Alison Jacques Gallery, London. A major retrospective Sheila Hicks: 50 Years was first shown at the Addison Gallery of American Art, which traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.
Hicks’ work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art; the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is in the Victoria & Albert Museum; the Stedelijk Museum and the Centre Pompidou.