The Sheila Hicks – Thread, Trees, River exhibition book is a very exciting art project, where the right time and the right place became crucial! It was last October when Sandra Schmidt, our publisher and the head of Design Papers at Europapier Group, visited her valued customers Eva Dranaz and Jochen Fill from Design Studio 3007. After weeks of lockdown, it was refreshing to see the two creatives and their latest projects. In the course of the meeting, from the new Europapier Design Collection and its many new ranges, REFIT – a paper made from 15% wool or cotton residue, turned out to be particularly exciting for the designers.
Eva Dranaz shared about the Sheila Hicks book she was working on. While the choice of paper had already been decided, and the train seemed to have left the station, the idea to use REFIT was intriguing – and at the last second, the designers were able to utilize REFIT for a banderole for the book. It was clear to all at present, if not for this book, then when would REFIT fit better? Simply a perfect match with added value! Because the combination of using a paper quality with cotton residue for an art book, whose works of art are made of almost exclusively of wool, is undisputed.
The artist Sheila Hicks’ work explores textiles as intrinsic elements of architecture, becoming a metaphor for measuring space
Let’s first take a step back and look at the main protagonist of the project: Sheila Hicks (born in 1934) is an American artist who has lived in Paris since the mid-1960s. Her focus is on textile art, with her artworks ranging from tiny to monumental installations made of wool. The artist acquired her knowledge of the art of weaving through numerous trips to different continents – above all North and South America.
“To this day, Hicks sees textiles as an intrinsic element of architecture and a metaphor for measuring space – comparable to the practice-oriented approach of the architect and theorist Gottfried Semper (1803–1879), who illuminated the context between nature, textiles, architecture, and space. The art book “Sheila Hicks – Thread, Trees, River” was published to accompany this exhibition. Published by arnoldsche Art Publishers, in the artbook, the artist sketches the connection between nature, textiles, architecture, and space with works from the entire spectrum of her creativity. A sensational book-object designed to perfection”, writes MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, the host of the exhibition.
The art book “Sheila Hicks – Thread, Trees, River” was published to accompany this exhibition. Published by arnoldsche Art Publishers, in the artbook, the artist sketches the connection between nature, textiles, architecture, and space with works from the entire spectrum of her creativity. A sensational book-object designed to perfection.
Enjoy the beautiful artworks from the safety of your own home with the virtual tour of the exhibition
The exhibition “THREAD, TREES, RIVER” is running at MAK until Sunday, April 18th, 2021. In order to shorten the waiting time until the MAK reopens, the exhibition SHEILA HICKS. Thread, trees, and the river can now also be visited virtually here. You can also enjoy the fabrics, installations, and expansive sculptures in fine color nuances up to vibrating luminosity, in the online tour, in which the MAK curator Bärbel Vischer gives insights into the impressive exhibition.
The designer of the book, Eva Dranaz, has succeeded in creating a total work of art with this book
The designer Eva Dranaz explains the concept of “the book as exhibition flow” as follows: “Sheila Hicks has accompanied me for over 10 years. Based on a wonderful book that Irma Boom designed in 2006, one of the best book designers, I was immediately fascinated by Sheila Hick’s work. It wasn’t until years later that I saw her monumental textile works live at the Venice Biennale. They are overwhelmingly beautiful. We were all the more delighted when Bärbel Vischer, the curator of the exhibition the MAK, approached us in summer 2020. The scope of the project, (approx. 70 pages) and the exhibition title ‘Thread, Trees, River’ were the specifications. Since no archive material should be used, it was also clear that the entire photo content could only be photographed shortly after it was set up, before the opening of the exhibition in December 2020 at the MAK.”
The unique Leporello format of the book follows the flow of the exhibition giving the reader a tangible experience
The idea of a pure picture and text series, as well as making the exhibition tangible to the reader, were the conceptual considerations in choosing the Leporello form of the art book, where the exhibited works are shown in the order of the exhibition. Leporello, also known as “a folding book”, is a foldable booklet in the form of a long strip of paper or cardboard that is folded together like an accordion.
Conceiving the book as an object book was an obvious choice. The artist, as well as the museum, gave Dranaz a free hand when it came to the design. “Sheila Hicks works with natural materials, lots of strong colors, and great craftsmanship, which is why we opted to use an acid-free natural paper, Munken Lynx Rough (Cradle to Cradle certified) for the book’s core. The fanfold binding was made by hand (paper processing by Michaela Volgger and Regina Huhn, Papyrus bookbindery). The two differently colored linen covers (Iris posters) indicate the reading direction. The ambitious conception was repeatedly coordinated with our printing consultancy (Ulli Arnold) and the printing company (Walla Druck). The book was closed with a banderole on REFIT Cotton.” Eva Dranaz says. REFIT and Munken Lynx Rough are exclusively available at Europapier Group.
For the first time, there was a Sheila Hicks exhibition of this size in German-speaking countries – over 50 works of art were shown at the MAK. The book is available in the MAK Design Shop and at MAKdesignshop.at. Definitely worth it!