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How Eva Hesse “Exploded The Idea Of Sculpture.”

September 6, 2009

Eva Hesse: her dark materials

Wax, cheesecloth, latex: a rare show of Eva Hesse’s unusual work reveals how she exploded the idea of sculpture.

By Alastair Sooke 

Eva Hesse in her studio in 1965. 'No Title' (1966)

Disorder: Eva Hesse in her studio in 1965. ‘No Title’ (1966)

New York during the Sixties must have been a heady place to be an artist. Manhattan was awash with young, ambitious men and women challenging every conceivable notion of what a work of art could be. Eva Hesse, a beautiful German-Jewish sculptor, was at the forefront of the avant-garde. By working with unconventional materials such as latex, fibreglass, wax, wire-mesh and cheesecloth, she changed the course of post-war art and has been idolised by the art community ever since she died, from a brain tumour, in 1970 aged just 34.

Yet, despite a retrospective of her work held at Tate Modern seven years ago, she remains under-appreciated by the wider public. An exhibition of her “test pieces”, opening this week at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, attempts to put that right. These small but sensuous experiments created in her studio can be seen as “a collection-in-miniature of Hesse’s art”, says art historian Briony Fer, in a new book on the sculptor published to accompany the show. “I don’t think it is too much of an exaggeration to see their combined effect as a small bomb exploding the category of things called sculpture.”

Read more at Eva Hesse’s dark materials

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2009 5:47 pm

    I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read.. 🙂


  2. October 1, 2009 8:01 am

    Really nice posts. I will be checking back here regularly.

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