Selected Works

Installation views. Photo by Thierry Depagne.
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“The subject in this presentation is color.
Color first, color second, color third.”

Demisch Danant is pleased to present Séance, 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 manmade 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 Séance, 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 Séance 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. Séance thus invites visitors to participate in Hicks’ color play, one of the most fundamental aspects of her art and design process.

Séance 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.

Sheila Hicks in conversation with Sjarel Ex,
Director of the Museum Boijmans Van Bueningen
was presented on Tuesday, June 17, 5:30 pm
at Design Talk Studio, Hall 1 Süd

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