"Eva Hesse Spectres 1960"

By Naves, Mario | New Criterion, November 2011 | Go to article overview

"Eva Hesse Spectres 1960"


Naves, Mario, New Criterion


"Eva Hesse Spectres 1960"

The Brooklyn Museum of Art.

September 16, 2011-January 8, 2012

In the catalogue accompanying "Eva Hesse Spectres 1960", which is currently on view at The Brooklyn Museum, Louise S. Milne, Lecnirer at the Edinburgh College of Art, wonders about the merits of die early paintings by Eva Hesse (1936-70). Milne does so obliquely, but the question is pointed all die same: "If we did not have Hesse's later achievements in sculpture with which to compare them, what would we make of these works?" Hesse's pictures, all painted during 1960 and centered on the female form, have rarely been exhibited and are relatively unknown. Of the fifty or so extant pieces, nineteen of them are on display in die Elizabeth E. Sadder Center for Feminist Art. Hesse devotees are likely to consider "Spectres 1960" an event.

And Hesse devotees are an impassioned bunch, a passion bred as much by the artist's biography as by die art. The daughter of German Jews, Hesse and her sister Helen were placed on die Kindertransport and sent to Holland after the events of Kristallnacht. The Hesse family reunited in London early in 1939 and immigrated to New York City a few months later. Hesse's parents separated in 1944; her mother committed suicide two years later. After attending Pratt Institute and Cooper Union, Hesse settled in at Yale, studying art with Josef Albers and Rico Le-Brun. "The hell with them all" wrote Hesse in response to the bruising critiques offered by die two opposing polemicists. "You must come to terms with your own work not with any other being."

After graduating, Hesse moved to New York City, establishing herself in the outre precincts of the art scene (she participated in an early "Happening" staged by Allen Kaprow), and took up sculpture. Many of Hesse's initial sculptural forays explicitly referenced painting or at least began as wallworks whose materiality increasingly took on a three-dimensional cast. Hesse subsequently gained renown for her innovative use of industrial materials, fiberglass predominant among them, and her melding of Minimalist rigor with a sickly strain of Surrealism. Flesh and its failings became her leitmotif--and her legacy. Hesse died of brain cancer in 1970 at the age of thirty-four. Mortality pervades die work in ways she couldn't have foreseen.

So does romance: few things guarantee cultural mythopoeia as thoroughly as early and tragic death. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"Eva Hesse Spectres 1960"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.