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visual arts

Eva Hesse Spectres 1960

E. Luanne McKinnon, ed.
Publisher Yale  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 10.1 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches
ISBN 9780300164152
Pages/Publication Date 90/2010
Daedalus Item Code 61527
This item is not available.
Though Eva Hesse is renowned today for the sculptural assemblages she made from the mid-1960s to 1970, upon her graduation from Yale in 1960 she moved to a New York City studio to become a painter. Of the 48 paintings she is known to have made that year, at least 21 of them—reproduced in this remarkably focused monograph—show her dramatically changing course, turning from total abstraction to semi-figuration, and painting semblances of herself (and her fictional selves) in portrait form. The artistic evolution seen in these paintings represents a personal reckoning with her inner conflicts that provided Hesse with the confidence to get on with the pioneering works of art for which she is now lauded. This fine cloth edition is illustrated with 35 reproductions and photos in color and black and white.

"A relatively slim volume that deals with only a slice of the career of the eminent Post-Minimalist sculptor Eva Hesse (1936–1970). But it feels big, being an unknown slice of such a brief career.... The paintings are very much of a piece with Hesse's sculptures. A few will be familiar, but the majority are not, and the combined force is little short of stunning. They show an already individualized artist finding her own way beyond the immovable force of Abstract Expressionism in images of semi-abstract faces and figures—mostly female—rendered in broad swaths of close-toned tans and grays. In these paintings Hesse seems to unpin the Modernist monochrome and wield it almost like clay, modeling a series of rubbery ghosts that are as tangible, or as intangible as the spaces they inhabit. They are pan-Expressionistic, reaching back to Munch and Arnold Schoenberg and forward to Brice Marden's moody monochromes. Most of all they confirm the psychological depth of Hesse's sculptures with a fullness that her subsequent reliefs of the mid 1960s, however important, do not. Dying at 34, Hesse never made art that might remotely be considered her late work. It is great to see her originality extended by these early efforts."—NYTimes

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