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Sheila Hicks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The process of creating textiles has long been a springboard for artistic invention.

In Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art, two extraordinary bodies of work separated by at least 500 years are brought together to explore the striking connections between artists of the ancient Andes and those of the 20th century. The exhibition displays textiles by four distinguished modern practitioners—Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Olga de Amaral—alongside pieces by Andean artists from the first millennium BCE to the 16th century.

Featuring more than 50 works, including major loans and new acquisitions, this cross-historical exhibition offers new insights into the emergence of abstract imagery. The constructive nature of weavings, arising from the grid formed by the vertical and horizontal elements of the loom, prompted the formal investigation of geometric designs that emphasize the integral relationship between structure and design in the textiles. Each of the four modern artists featured developed innovative approaches to an ancient medium through deep study of Andean techniques. Shown together, these ancient and modern weavings reposition the place of textiles in global art history.

In The Threads of Architecture, Sheila Hicks and Frida Escobedo join Met curators to discuss their shared interests, including ancient and modern architecture, textile technologies, and their experiences of Mexico in connection with their respective practices.

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