Saturday, April 9, 2011

Two Must See Exhibits: Sonia Delauney and Sheila Hicks

There are two current exhibits, both artists who work at that intersection of art, fashion, and textiles that I am interested in. I hope to draw inspiration from both of them for my own current projects that I am developing.

Sheila Hicks pictured at the installation of her exhibit in Philly. Photo from NyTimes.

The first is Sheila Hicks, showing in Philly at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Here the artist is exhibiting 50 years of her work. Her work seamlessly merges the disciplines of art, design, and crafts. She works with objects as unconventional as toothpicks, razor-clam shells, rubber bands and hair. According the New York Times it was a picture of Peruvian mummy bundles that ignited Ms. Hicks’s interest in textiles. Later, she studied under Josef Albers (of Bauhaus fame). When took her home to meet his wife, Anni, the renown Bauhaus weaver, her focus on what became her lives work was cemented. I find her work to unbelievably mysterious and beautiful.

Sheila Hicks from an excerpt I found on the web in Wallpaper magazine.

Another artist who dappled in textiles has an exhibit that I am pining to see is Sonia Delauney at Cooper Hewitt. She is another artist who crossed boundaries. From goauche paintings, to textiles, to clothing created by her own atelier she was a veritable 1920's fashion sensation. Her exhibit is oddly prescient considering all the art deco motifs on current runways. I think the series of pictures below show beautifully how she could create a gouache painting, then turn that into a textile, which would later be created into a garment.

Photo from Cooper Hewitt site.

Coat made for Gloria Swanson by Sonia Deluaney, photo from Cooper Hewitt site.

Model wearing swimsuit made by Sonia Delauney, also from the Cooper Hewitt website, see link above.