Sheila Hicks

USA (1934). Lives and works in New York and Paris.

Lares and Penates, 1990–2013
Found materials (101 elements)
297,2 x 292,1 x 12,7 cm aprox.

VIking, 1969 work in progress
Natural french linen. Variable dimensions

Sheila Hicks is an artist known for her use of nontraditional materials, such as textiles, in her work. This interest was born during her studies at Yale of traditional manufacturing techniques from Peru and Mexico in the pre-Colombian era. She considers her work midway between sculpture and performance. The cultural and social anthropologies of the peoples she has visited in the course of her extensive travels make an important appearance in her work, particularly their beliefs and ancient rituals.

Lares and Penates references the relics of Roman mythology in which the Lares and Penates were deities that protected the Roman family and state. Albeit different entities, they were frequently worshipped together. According to Roman beliefs, the Lares watched over the family lineage and the Penates guarded the state and Roman patriotism. The installation is made up of compact textile pieces in vivid colors, attached as one to a wall and ready to be worshipped. Viking is a sculpture made up of a
linen tapestry that entwines itself. It is part of a series originally known as The Evolving Tapestry. The piece recalls a linen landscape, a vast natural expanse, a knoll of memory, precarious yet solid, firmly occupying its territory.