Eva Hesse’s innovative sculptures and installations were respected throughout the art world for their dichotomies of lightness and weight, order and chaos, and mechanical and organic forms. Hesse and her family fled Germany in 1938, settling in New York a year later. She threw herself into art at an early age, studying at both the Pratt Institute of Design and Cooper Union, graduating in 1957. She earned a BFA from the Yale School of Art in 1959 and returned to New York, where she drew, painted, studied, and connected with fellow artists such as Sol LeWitt. In 1960 she began creating small, abstract, ink and gouache works on paper. While she persisted (with increasing frustration) in painting, it was these drawings that would lead her to sculpture. In 1964, on a trip to Germany, her husband, Tom Doyle, urged her to stop painting and work instead with plaster and string. It was a revelation. Hesse began creating forms that were minimal and abstract but carried emotional weight and a sense of motion. Her new work was featured in major shows at venues like the Graham Gallery and the Fischbach Gallery, including the historic “9 at Leo Castelli” show in 1967.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Eva Hesse." (Viewed on February 22, 2018) <https://jwa.org/people/hesse-eva>.