In the years before her early death Hesse's sculpture grew in scale and daring from easel-sized reliefs to Expanded Expansion (1969; New York, Guggenheim), whose latex-covered cheesecloth ‘curtains', draped between 16 plexiglass poles (h. 3.1 m), are extendable laterally, and Right After (1969; Milwaukee, WI, A. Mus.), whose light-filled fibreglass strands are suspended irregularly in space, usually up to c. 5 m wide. Her mature sculpture abounds in contradictions: chaos and order, organic and geometric, absurd and tragic. Hesse was one of the first and most influential artists to question the austere, immobile exactitude of serial Minimalism and imbue it with a capacity to move, change and vary from the norm like a living being.
Oberlin Coll., OH, Allen Mem. A. Mus., Eva Hesse Archv [diaries, notebooks, sketches, correspondence]
ELLEN H. JOHNSON
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