Eva Hesse Untitled

Eva Hesse
Untitled  1966
Ink and pencil on paper
Courtesy Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich © Estate of Eva Hesse

By the mid 1960s, Minimalist ideas were shaping the work of many artists in New York.

Minimalist artists focused on the purity of geometric forms, removing evidence of the hand of the artist. Around the summer of 1966 Hesse began to produce extraordinarily delicate drawings of repeated rows of concentric circles or tiny marks on graph paper. These drawings adopt some of the forms of Minimalism, such as series of circles or grid patterns, but then subvert them with accidental marks and idiosyncrasies.

As a result, the precision of Minimalist geometry takes on a hand-made, personal quality, the antithesis of the movement’s style.