OPENS FRIDAY, JUNE 10
As the wild ride of the 1960’s came to a close, Eva Hesse, a 34 year-old German-born American artist was cresting the wave of a swiftly rising career. One of the few women recognized as central to the New York art scene, she had over 20 group shows scheduled for 1970 in addition to being chosen for a cover article in ArtForum Magazine. Her work was finally receiving both the critical and commercial attention it deserved.
When she died in May, 1970 from a brain tumor, the life of one of that decades’ most passionate and brilliant artists was tragically cut short. As Jonathon Keats wrote in Art and Antiques Magazine, “Yet the end of her life proved to be only the beginning of her career. The couple of solo gallery shows she hustled in the 11 years following her graduation from the Yale School of Art have since been eclipsed by multiple posthumous retrospectives at major museums from the Guggenheim to the Hirshhorn to the Tate.”
Her work is now held by many important museum collections including the Whitney, MoMA, the Hirschhorn, the Pompidou in Paris and London’s Tate Modern.
In 1960 Eva Hesse met Sol LeWitt, and the two artists formed a decade-long friendship. As Stephanie Buhmann details, “despite superficial disparities (LeWitt’s oeuvre is usually thought of as idea-driven while Hesse’s works reflect the opposite: intimacy, personal gesture, and physical sensuality),” the two artists shared a lot in common. “While Hesse drew inspiration from Minimalist aesthetics and the conceptual clarity that characterized LeWitt’s work, LeWitt respected Hesse’s devotion to the trace of the human hand in art.”
Eva Hesse deepens the understanding of this extraordinary artist, not only in terms of her ground-breaking work, but also the life that provided the fertile soil for her achievements. With dozens of new interviews, high quality footage of Hesse’s artwork and a wealth of newly discovered archival imagery, the documentary not only traces Eva’s path but engages in a lively investigation into the creative community of 1960’s New York and Germany.
"A vibrant, affecting piece of filmmaking that's sure to widen Hesse's following."
"Hesse's work has taken its place as a seminal part of 20th-century art, and this indispensable film will be shining a light on it, and her, for a long time to come."
"It's like a comprehensive exhibition catalog or a thorough critical essay - an indispensable aid to understanding and appreciating a fascinating artist."