Nicola Hicks featured on The Measure - The L Magazine
Flowers Gallery, 529 West 20th St., through January 18th
Hicks' generally life-size sculptures straddle such ambiguous territory between anthropomorphic and theriomorphic that the human-animal divide becomes nearly irrelevant, indeed even immaterial despite the grave, weighty materiality of her forms. A minotaur-like character, actual or masked, plods along with audible tread-in one hand a smaller beast's posterior quarters, in the other its head. This is a towering bronze called Banker II, its implications both chilling and clear. Banker I is a less beastly, somewhat more ghostly pairing: whether the bear is leashed to the financier, or vice-versa, is debatable; to whom the market belongs, or who dominates, an open question. Amalgams of straw and plaster, which are then occasionally cast in bronze, lend prickle and clump to these creatures Hicks has been crafting since the '80s, and their monstrosities are at once haunting and placid. Behold calmly the spent eyes of these mysteriously menacing, or perhaps amiable souls. To call them captivating is most certainly understatement.