Roland Hicks makes paradoxical paintings and objects that look like minimal abstract assemblages – apparently slightly crudely stapled together from offcuts of various types of chipboard. Sometimes these pieces also create a simple illusion of a three dimensional geometric solid, or of one form sitting in front of a shadow form behind it. Less simply, all the joins, staples, different chipboard textures, roughly sawn edges etc are actually meticulously painted by hand – so, in addition to its abstract properties, his work is equally concerned with ‘trompe l’oeil’ still life painting.
It is a determinedly ambiguous approach. As well as sitting somewhere between abstraction and realism, these artworks also hover between painting and sculpture. They can seem simultaneously simple and complex, playful and serious, spontaneous and methodical. Time is rendered strangely elastic where fast artistic actions are slowed down, leaving room for doubt.
There is no pre-existing model on which the works are based, so in some respects these are objects of pure, albeit deliberately limited, imagination. Despite the layers of illusionistic deception his work is open and generous in its trickery, and genuine in its enjoyment of humble materials and creative acts both real and imagined.
Roland Hicks studied at the Slade School Of Art [MFA], & Winchester School of Art [BA]. He is the third winner of the biennial Evelyn Williams Drawing Award, which includes a solo exhibition at Hastings Contemporary, scheduled for October 2023- March 2024.
His latest solo show was Backstreet Geometry, at 57W57 Arts, New York, 2022.
He was previously shortlisted for the Contemporary British Painting Prize in both 2018 and 2021.
Alongside numerous solo and group shows, he has also featured in The John Moores Painting Prize, The Trinity Buoy Wharf/Jerwood Drawing Prize, The Creekside Open, Wells Art Contemporary, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the NatWest Art Prize.
Exhibitions he has curated include The Tiresome Truth [featuring Angela de la Cruz and Helene Appel] at ASC Gallery in 2019 and Humble As Hell at the Kurt Schwitters Merz Barn, Elterwater in 2017.
He lives and works in London.