Hesse with Not Yet 1966
When I began my double major in Sculpture in 2004; it seemed like half of us were trying to be the next Eva Hesse.
More than a minimalist or postminimal, I think Hesse is to Sculpture the way Miles Davis is to Jazz. She put soul and pain into materials. The latex slouched, groups of fiberglass sat short in the room but crowded you in the space. Her untitled rope and string piece shows the gesture of an Expressionist painter.
How do you just talk about Miles Davis? In a time when the artworld was almost entirely male dominated, either coldly academic or animal emotional, she was both. She kept scores of preparatory drawings, and much debate has risen as to what is a real piece and what are notes. Like Sol LeWitt, in an interview she revered her drawings as important as the works, if not totally separate from them in consideration. The work was soft but raw, feminine but frankly mechanical.
I have yet to see a Hesse piece in person, and hope to soon as many of the latex pieces are degrading as we speak. As are we all, as does all art.
Accession II 1968