"‘Colour is in my blood!’: the vivid life of artist Sheila Hicks"
by Charlotte Higgins
She was taught by Josef Albers, bought rugs for Stanley Kubrick, and lives where Dr Guillotin experimented with his equipment. Yet, at 87, there’s only one person the great textile artist wants to impress.
Sheila Hicks – American-born textile artist, Parisian since 1964 and, at 87, en pleine forme – has a plan for my visit, but it’s not entirely clear to me what it is. She greets me outside her studio – the platonic ideal of a cobbled courtyard in the Latin Quarter, with creeper-draped buildings of startling beauty, an ancient well, even an elderly gent processing elegantly out the gates on a bicycle. Speaking in the soft but decisive tones of a lady of great age who knows precisely what she’s about, she points to various windows – here Hockney had a studio, here Tony Richardson, you know? He was married to Vanessa Redgrave. Here Robert Carsen, the opera director. Balthus had his studio up here. She proceeds at a stately pace towards the courtyard’s back entrance. Here Dr Guillotin experimented. He placed his equipment here you see and the blood ran downhill, here. He tried it out on sheep.
Escalade Beyond Chromatic Lands 2016-17, Sheila Hicks (Photo: Michael Brzezinski)
Sheila Hicks, in the courtyard outside her studio in the 6th arrondissement in Paris. (Photo: Ed Alcock)
Cordes Sauvages / Hidden Blue 2016-17, Sheila Hicks, (Photo: Michael Brzezinski)