Eva Hesse

American, born Germany

1936, Hamburg, Germany
1970, New York, 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 anyone straightforward meaning.

Eva Hesse reflects on how viewers interpret her work, saying that she is not intentionally referencing notions of “female“ or “male.“

Works in the Collection

Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to confirm it will be on view.

Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at copyright@sfmoma.org.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.