It’s raining Candace Hicks
May 4, 2021
That’s how it feels at the Booklyn homestead right now. We were thrilled to have received over 20 hand-sewn, original books by extremely prolific artist Candace Hicks and we’re not holding back on showing them all at once.
Here’s the bounty in full. You will want to hold one in your own hands, don’t say we didn’t warn you…
From Nacogdoches, TX, Hicks is one of our most favorite artists to work with, in part because the accomplishment of her work speaks for itself. She works primarily in textiles, embroidery, printmaking, and bookmaking. Her book editions collect coincidental data, joining seemingly insignificant details from diverse media and personal experiences to create alternate worlds where they exist and function together. These handheld art objects become entire universes, holding small worlds where connections relate or obfuscate. Each work is a celebration of possibilities and connections, world-building and world-opening.
Just as a landscape or portrait painter’s observations allow them to reproduce a version of reality, my scrutiny of repetition creates a narrative that navigates fictional universes.
Hicks’ most beloved artwork is the Common Threads series of unique embroidered books. Since 2003, Hicks has sewn close to 140 of these masterpieces. Each book is a chapter in the epic novel of Hicks’ life in which every coincidence in real life and in and between everything read, watched, and listened to, is noted in detail.
Hicks is a voracious consumer of culture and a historian of encyclopedic stature so there is no end of provocation in both the quantity and quality of the coincidences she corrals. The visceral pleasure of holding and reading Common Threads books is immersive. You’re in Candace Hicks’ world and it’s a wild ride.
We consider the entire Common Threads series from the perspective of literary-based conceptual art—it’s a giant social sculpture fragmented across a network of libraries, museums, and private collections across the world. Incredible! Each book is completely unique but suspended in a web of coincidental associations woven together by the narrative thread of Candace Hick’s consciousness and nimble fingers.
You know that feeling, when you confront a great piece of art—especially one that is so stealth and seemingly fixated on the mundane—you get that gut feeling that the earth is shifting under your feet and your mind will never quite be the same? Common Threads is one of those great artworks. The simple tactile experience of the material object, with all its intimate, haptic, domestic culture coding, combined with the elements of comparative literary criticism to exponentially amplify Hick’s existential inception into your consciousness. The rabbit hole is deep here, but entirely pleasurable, with Hick’s hosting while playing an erudite, hyper-intelligent version of the White Rabbit.
There are some special client offers on Hicks’ books during the month of May, so be in touch with Jan Descartes if you are interested to acquire.