Eva Hesse  (American, 1936-1970) 

Eva Hesse (American, born January 11, 1936–died May 29, 1970) was a German-born sculptor and painter, recognized for her innovative use of materials, such as cheesecloth, rubber, plastic, tubing, latex, and fiberglass. Born in Hamburg to a Jewish family in 1936, Hesse and her family fled Europe in 1939, immigrating to the United States when she was a young girl. She studied at New York's School of Industrial Art, Pratt Institute, and Cooper Union before attending the Yale School of Art and Architecture, where she was taught by Josef Albers (American/German, 1888–1976). Influenced by the work of Joseph Beuys (German, 1921–1986), Claes Oldenburg (American, b.1929), and Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985), Hesse moved away from Minimalism’s high rhetoric, becoming fascinated with the portrayal of the the feminine condition and raw human forms.

Although primarily Abstract, her work always contains a Figurative element, contemporary with the 1960’s movement away from Minimalism, into Post-Minimalism. In September of 1968, Hesse began teaching at the School of Visual Arts, and that November the Fischbach Gallery in New York held her one-person show, Chain Polymers. In addition to the difficulty of succeeding in a male-dominated art world, Hesse endured many struggles during her life, such as divorce, her mother’s suicide, and poor health. Hesse was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and died in 1970 at the age of 34. Two years after her untimely death, the Guggenheim Museum held a retrospective of her work, which was the first such exhibition organized to honor a female artist.

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Eva Hesse, Accession V


Eva Hesse
Accession V

Craig F. Starr Gallery
Eva Hesse, Untitled


Eva Hesse

Hauser & Wirth Zürich London New York
Past auction results (127)  View All
Eva Hesse, Untitled


Eva Hesse
Untitled, 1961
gouache, ink and graphite on paper


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Eva Hesse, Penetration


Eva Hesse
Penetration, 1965
collage w/acrylic, ink and watercolor


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Eva Hesse, Untitled


Eva Hesse
Untitled, 1961
gouache and ink on paper


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1936   Born on January 11th in Hamburg, Germany
1939   Immigrated to the United States
1952 - 1953   Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1954 - 1957   Cooper Union, New York, NY
1957   Received a Yale-Norfolk Fellowship
1959   BFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT; Studied under Josef Albers
1961   Married artist Tom Doyle
1964   Traveled through Europe
1968 - 1970   Instructor, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
1970   Died on May 29th in New York, NY
2012   Eva Hesse: Spectres and Studiowork, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea (solo)
2011   Eva Hesse Spectres 1960, Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn NY (solo)
2011   Eva Hesse Studiowork, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston (solo)
2011   Eva Hesse Studiowork, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley CA (solo)
2010   Eva Hesse: Spectres, University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque NM (solo)
2010   Eva Hesse: Spectres, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles CA (solo)
2010   Eva Hesse Studiowork, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (solo)
2010   Eva Hesse Studiowork, Tàpies Foundation, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
2010   Hauser & Wirth New York, New York, NY (solo)
2010   On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, Museum of Modern Art, New York NY
2010   Notations/Forms of Contingency: New York and Turin, 1960s-1970s, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia PA
2009   75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA
2009   elles@centrepompidou – artistes femmes dans les collections du Musé national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
2009   Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York NY
2009   The awkward objects, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland
2009   Eva Hesse Studiowork, Camden Arts Centre, London, England (solo)
2009   Eva Hesse Studiowork, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (solo)
2008   Now's The Time, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2008   Traces and Spaces – Jan Groth's Influences and Contemporaries, Rogaland Museum of Fine Art, Stavanger, Norway
2008   Oranges and Sardines. Conversations on Abstract Painting, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
2008   Willem de Kooning, Lucio Fontana, Eva Hesse, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY
2007   Face to Face, Daros Exhibitions, Zurich, Switzerland
2007   A Point in Space is a Place for an Argument, David Zwirner, New York, NY
2007   Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
2006   Resonance, Frith Street Gallery, London, England
2006   Elemental Form, L & M Arts, New York, NY
2006   Skin is a Language, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2006   Eva Hesse Drawing, Curated by Catherine de Zegher and Elisabeth Sussmann, Menil Collection, Houston TX (solo)
2006   Eva Hesse Drawing, The Drawing Center, New York NY (solo)
2006   Eva Hesse Drawing, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles CA (solo)
2006   Eva Hesse Drawing, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis MN (solo)
2006   Eva Hesse: Sculpture, The Jewish Museum, New York NY (solo)
2005   25 Jahre Sammlung Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, Berlin, Germany
2005   Repeat Performance, Antony Grant Inc., New York, NY
2005   Open Systems Rethinking Art c. 1970, Tate Modern, London, England
2004   Laction restreinte, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2004   Eva Hesse Transformationen – Die Zeit in Deutschland 1964/65, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2004   Eva Hesse Transformationen – Die Zeit in Deutschland 1964/65, Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2004   Eva Hesse Transformationen – Die Zeit in Deutschland 1964/65, The Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea (solo)
2004   From Pollock to Marden: Post-War Works on Paper, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen CO
2004   Museum of Modern Art, Berlin, Germany
2003   Visions of Modern Art: Painting and Sculpture from The Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
2003   The Stage of Drawing – Gesture and Act, Tate Modern, London, England
2003   Top 40! The Tom and Kitty stoner collection of 20th Century Sculptors' Drawings, Carver Gallery, Iowa City IA
2003   Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2002   Eva Hesse Retrospective, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2002   Eva Hesse Retrospective, Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany (solo)
2002   Eva Hesse Retrospective, Tate Modern, London, England (solo)
2002   Drawings of Choice from a New York Collection, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign IL
2002   vertigo, Leo Castelli, New York NY
2002   Women Artists: Their Work and Influence, 1950-70's, Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco CA
2001   Drawing is another kind of language, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu HI
2001   Noncomposition: 15 Case Studies, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford CT
2001   Von Edgar Degas bis Gerhard Richter. Arbeiten auf Papier aus der Graphischen Sammlung des Kunstmuseums Winterthur, Rupertinum Museum für Moderne und Zeitgenössische Kunst, Salzburg, Austria
2001   Beyond Preconceptions: The Sixties Experiment, Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2000   Von Edgar Degas bis Gerhard Richter. Arbeiten auf Papier aus der Graphischen Sammlung des Kunstmuseums Winterthur, Kunstmuseum Wintherthur, Winterthur, Switzerland
2000   In Process. Photographs from the 60s and 70s, Curt Marcus Gallery, New York NY
2000   Afterimage: Drawing Through Process, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston TX
2000   Beyond Preconceptions: The Sixties Experiment, Independent Curators International, New York NY
1998   Black and white Paintings on paper from the Estate of Eva Hesse, Robert Miller Gallery, New York NY (solo)
1996   Eva Hesse: Dream Portraits, Paintings from 1960-61, Robert Miller Gallery, New York NY (solo)
1996   Eva Hesse: Area, Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus OH (solo)
1996   Eva Hesse: Gouaches, Robert Miller Gallery, New York NY (solo)
1996   Eva Hesse, XXIV Bienal de Sao Paulo, Pavilhon Ciccillo Matarazzo, Sao Paulo, Brazil (solo)
1994   Eva Hesse, Drawing in Space – Bilder und Reliefs, Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany (solo)
1994   Eva Hesse – Bilder und Reliefs, Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Munster, Germany (solo)
1994   Contingent, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Nova Scotia, Canada (solo)
1993   Eva Hesse, IVAM Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain (solo)
1993   Eva Hesse, Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France (solo)
1993   Eva Hesse, Galerie Montenay, Paris, France (solo)
1993   Eva Hesse 1936-1970, Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany (solo)
1992   Eva Hesse: A Retrospective, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT (solo)
1992   Eva Hesse: A Retrospective, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC (solo)
1992   Eva Hesse: Paintings 1960-1964, Robert Miller Gallery, New York NY (solo)
1991   Eva Hesse: Gouaches 1960-1961, Robert Miller Gallery, New York NY (solo)
1991   Eva Hesse: Gouaches 1960-1961, Galerie Renos Xippas, Paris, France (solo)