Tyranny of the Shoulds

  • Pat Hickman, Tyranny of the Shoulds, 1989, hog casings, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Theodore Cohen in memory of his mother and her sisters: Rose Melmon Cohen, Blanche Melmon, Mary Melmon Greenberg and Fanny Melmon Liberman, 1998.122.9, © 1989, Patricia L. Hickman

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Tyranny of the Shoulds, like other pieces by Pat Hickman, expresses the artist's sense of the fragility of life. The dried hog casings shaped into a sculpture evoke rigor mortis, the stiffening of the body after death. At the same time, however, the material suggests a transformation from one kind of life to another. The title may well refer to our tendency to think of the things we "should" have done with and for the people we loved. The circling, interwoven strands of gut express tangled feelings of regret, but also suggest a circle of mutual support such as Hickman knew during her years spent working with other fiber artists in the Bay Area.

Title
Tyranny of the Shoulds
Artist
Date
1989
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
approx. 7 1/2 x 15 1/4 x 15 in. (19.1 x 38.8 x 38.1 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Theodore Cohen in memory of his mother and her sisters: Rose Melmon Cohen, Blanche Melmon, Mary Melmon Greenberg and Fanny Melmon Liberman

Mediums
Mediums Description
hog casings
Classifications
Object Number
1998.122.9
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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