Born in Paris in 1925, Philippe Hiquily enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Orléans in 1945 to study sculpture. After completing a tour in the French Military during the Indochina War, he entered the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1948. His monumental sculpture entitled Neptune received the Prix de Sculpture in 1953 and Hiquily left school shortly after. Hiquily developed a direct welding technique, combining industrial welding methods with reclaimed metals. In 1959 he won the Critic’s Prize for sculpture at the Paris Biennial and he traveled to the United States to exhibit at The Contemporaries Gallery, New York where he was met with praise from critics and dealers alike and achieved artistic stardom.
A passionate collector of primitive art and a world traveler, Hiquily absorbed, and was influenced by, artistic traditions from Africa, the Pacific and Northern Canada. He continued to pursue figurative forms in his sculptures, and expanded into furniture and motorized mobiles. Hiquily’s work is featured in numerous institutions around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
If art does not provoke, then there is no art.