Sheila Hicks is an artist best known for her groundbreaking works in fiber. Taking inspiration from global textiles, Hicks has spent her career cultivating a unique artistic voice defined by an innovative blending of spatial, sculptural, and pictorial concerns in her polymorphous sculptures.
For The Questioning Column, Hicks worked with fibers that are durable, waterproof, and able to be manipulated in uniquely responsive ways. The verticality of the textile sculpture offers an architectural accent to the building, while the bright, multi-hued strands contrast the grey and white palate of the adjacent structure. The artist chose to install the work in dialogue with the Pitman oculus, an architectural feature of the Moody building designed by Michael Maltzan. The sculpture’s complex, colorful composition and tactile presence reveal itself fully when seen from different sides. The Questioning Column provides a vivid illustration of the artist’s curious mind, while inviting viewers to ask questions, be they existential or prosaic.
Hicks was born in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1934 and received formal training at the Yale School of Art, where she received both a B.F.A and an M.F.A. Travels to investigate the artisanal fabrics of Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia deeply informed her art and creative process. Hicks moved to Paris in the 1960s and has lived and worked there ever since. Her work is held by a number of major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Tate, London, and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago, Chile, among many others. In recent years, Hicks’s work has been shown in various international exhibitions, notably at the 2017 Venice Biennale, the High Line, New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, in 2018, as well as at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, in 2019.