Eva Hesse's Journal

A pioneer woman of the Post-Minimalist movement, Eva Hesse considered much of her work to be ‘non-work’: “This means that it would find its way beyond my preconceptions. It is the unknown quantity from which and where I want to go. As a thing, an object, it accedes to its non-logical self. It is something, it is nothing.


Eva's Studio

Her pieces are the outcome of her laser-like focus between the interactions of all physical materials, utilizing them without a strict formula towards the piece’s creation.

Untitled (1960)

No Title (1960)

The Hamburg-born sculptural artist Hesse fled Nazi Germany with her family when she was three years old, arriving in New York City in 1939. She eventually became a US citizen in 1945, studying art for a majority of her life at the School of Industrial Art, Pratt, Cooper Union, and Yale. While never limiting herself to one medium, Hesse’s work expands from installation creations which take up the entire floor space, sets of identical sculptures, irregular wall carvings, and a variety of oil paintings.

Untitled (1966) - Brush and Gray Wash with Charcoal

Ringaround Arosie (1965)

Graphite Illustration - Unknown Date

Much of Hesse’s life was spent in states of anxiety, as her personal life was filled with many tragedies such as the suicide of her mother when Hesse was ten years old. Her art is often seen as a result of a tragic life and a peek into her psychological process. Dark, frantic, without a direct rhythm, holding a desire to be both understood and not at the same time. Similarly, many of her pieces were constructed out of materials often regarded as ‘worthless’. Nearly impossible to preserve, this was intentional to fuel the anguish of her collectors and museum curators after facing an inevitable disintegration.

Eva photographed by Herman Landshoff (1968)

Sol LeWitt was one of her penpals, and he famously wrote to her in 1965 with a comforting and electrifying message advising her to follow her impulses through her work:

“You seem the same as always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don’t! Learn to say ‘Fuck You’ to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rambling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just


Sol's letter to Eva (1965)

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