Diameter: 104.1 cm (41 inches)
Helen M. Danforth Acquisition Fund
Here Sheila Hicks juxtaposes varied-width large-scale yarns twisted in different directions to create a surface of subtle contrasts in color, balance, and scale. This technique quotes from and exponentially magnifies similar patterning methods used by Peruvian artists hundreds of years before. The brilliant red color suggests the hue of cochineal, a pink-red dye extracted from cactus-eating insects. During the colonial period, cochineal was one of the most valued and exported materials in South and Central America.
Hicks was introduced to pre-Hispanic Andean weaving as a student at Yale University under the guidance of her mentors Josef and Anni Albers, who collected ancient Central and South American textiles and were greatly influenced by their distinct colors and geometries.