Sheila Held: Attempt at a Unified Theory

March 28th - April 25th


Dear Tif,

I was wondering if you were still planning on having an opening this weekend? I hope you are weathering these trying times. I cannot imagine everything shutting down for 18 months. We will need to totally reorganize the entire world, though maybe that isn't all bad. I read that pollution is down everywhere and one can actually see the fish in the Venice Canals for the first time in years. Nature reasserting herself, and perhaps we will learn to work with her rather than against her.

Stay healthy,



Hi Sheila,

Thanks for checking in and for the positive news about the environment. There has to be a bright side to this calamity. Your statement about learning to work with the environment, rather than against her, reminded me of one of the weavings in your show, the one with the three women carrying water on their heads and walking across lily pads… On The Ferry. When I visited your studio, you told me that the women in the piece were representative of people being able to use nature without destroying it. Earlier today I noticed people walking through town alongside unopened businesses enjoying the first days of spring, and I thought of your message. It was comforting to think maybe when this is all over there could be a possibility for global reset and a healthier society that slows down and takes a more appreciative relationship towards the environment. We’re fortunate to have art as a way to imagine new possibilities and I’m glad to be able to present your work during these ominous times. Though there won’t be an opening, I’m sure people will enjoy seeing images of your work on the internet and if circumstances allow, hopefully a few people at a time will be able to come and see the work in person at some point.

Stay safe and we’ll talk soon,

Tif Sigfrids is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work by Sheila Held entitled Attempt at a Unified Theory. The exhibition will be viewable online beginning March 28th. If circumstances allow, the show will be viewable by appointment beginning April 7th.

For the exhibition, Held is presenting four weavings made over the span of eight years. The weavings vary in scale and contain imagery referencing ancient architecture, Greek mythology, and the relationship between humans and their environment. Accessing the point where science, art history, and nature intersect, Held is concerned with the presentation of a conjunction of opposites as a way to narrow the gap between the ideal and the practical. For over forty years, Held has been working in this manner. The artist is based in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin and is represented by Green Gallery. In addition to the exhibition, we are pleased to share essays about Held's work by Polly Morris and Julia Watson. For inquiries, please write