While containing all of the gentle tactility and delicate detail you might expect from a textile-work, Sheila Hicks’s two-story cascade blows the whole definition apart. Monumental, visceral – you feel the tangled coils twine through your own gut. It dwarfs you, shrinks you to the size of a pin head next to a spool of thread. You have no chance to passively observe, but must conquer the simultaneous desire to dive in and to run away screaming. Like standing at the base of a thousand-year-old tree, you feel the looming presence of time and the constant but unpredictable workings of nature itself.
(“50 Years” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, March 24-August 7, 2011)