Sheila Hicks American

Not on view

Born in Nebraska, Hicks moved to Paris in 1964 after several years living and traveling throughout Mexico and South America. The artist has often cited the art of Latin America, especially the complex work in fiber left behind by numerous indigenous peoples, as a precedent for her work. The copious fringe cascading from this weaving echoes the loose threads used to tether textile masks to bundled mummies in southern Peru. The composition’s most unexpected element is the five razor clamshells inserted, like haunting fingers, into the matrix of silk and wool. Various species of this saltwater mollusk, also known as a jackknife or bamboo clam, can be found today on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, a potential metaphor for Hicks’s own peripatetic lifestyle.

Écailles, Sheila Hicks (American, born Hastings, Nebraska, 1934), Silk, wool, razor clam shells

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.