The Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts has acquired Sheila Hicks’ monumental bas relief, May I Have This Dance?, through a generous gift by Target Corporation. Originally commissioned by Target for their lobby headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2003, May I Have This Dance? has been recently reimagined, and reconfigured, for exhibitions in Paris and Philadelphia, each metamorphosis informed by the particular architectural setting.
With a redesign of Target Corporation headquarters, a search for a new, permanent home for the work began in earnest in 2010. Target consulted Sheila Hicks regarding where May I Have This Dance? might permanently reside. Some of the largest and most important art museums in the country were considered for this major gift.
With the new progressive initiative of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design, a newly opened facility, new leadership, and a renewed focus on world-class acquisitions, exhibitions, and educational programs, The Mint Museum presented a unique and compelling case. The Mint committed to install the work for an extended period of time in the Robert Haywood Morrison Atrium, the largest public space and principal gathering area of the new museum uptown. In this prime location, Hicks’ powerful sculpture will command tremendous visual impact and set the tone for visitors’ experiences as they enter the museum. Similar to the original architectural setting for May I Have This Dance? at Target, The Mint’s Morrison Atrium provides a distinct opportunity to honor the integrity of the artist’s original intent and design.
The official unveiling of May I Have This Dance? will occur in unison with the preview of Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, an exhibition organized by The Addison Gallery of American Art, the art museum of Phillips Academy. This comprehensive exhibition, running 1 October 2011 through 29 January 2012, at The Mint Museum Uptown, marks the first retrospective devoted to this pioneering figure. Sheila Hicks is an artist who builds with color and thinks with line. From her earliest work of the late 1950s to the present, she has crossed the boundaries of painting, sculpture, design, drawing, and woven form, and has been a critical force in redefining the domains of contemporary art-making. While challenging the relationship of fine arts to commercial arts and studio practice to site-specific commissions, Hicks has, above all, re-imagined the profound, vital connection of artist to artisan.
The Sheila Hicks: Fifty Years exhibition and the long-term installation of May I Have This Dance? will serve as important highlights of The Mint Museum’s 75th anniversary celebration beginning this October.