Eva Hesse

American, born Germany (Hamburg, Germany, 1936 - 1970, New York City, New York)

A pioneer in the use of nontraditional sculptural materials, Eva Hesse's latex and fiberglass sculptures are a direct trace of the process through which she made them. This is in contrast to much of the abstract sculpture made in the middle of the century, which was industrially produced in order to hide any visible evidence of its making.

Hesse's eccentric geometry is entirely abstract but nonetheless powerfully evocative of the body. Her synthetic materials allowed her to suggest organic tissue without directly representing it. These corporeal metaphors have sometimes led to autobiographical interpretations of her work, buoyed by her status as a "woman artist" prior to feminism and by her early death from a brain tumor. The sculptures themselves, however, refuse any one straightforward meaning.

From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

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