Hesse on the power of repetition
SFX: Throughout, Hesse’s words echo and repeat, moving L-R across audio channels, sometimes coming at us, sometimes moving
SFX: Hesse’s non non non non coming toward us
Eva Hesse liked to break the rules. Sans II is a perfect example – a sculpture that hangs on the wall. She was one of those people who just refused to conform. Here she is in 1970:
My idea was to counteract everything I’ve ever learnt or been taught, to find something else.
I was less interested in the specific form as the circle, or the square, the rectangle, and was really working to get to non-anthropomorphic and non-geometric. Non non! Like, where you couldn’t connote any reference.
SFX: Hesse’s words echo and repeat Non Non Non Non
At times I thought—the more thought, the greater the art. But I wonder about that. I think there’s a lot I’ll just as well let happen, and maybe it will come out the better for it.
She made a papier mache original that was the shape of this surface.
Hesse’s studio assistant Doug Johns —
I draped the fiberglass over the top of the mold first, so that it was hanging down, so it’s all very rough. And it’s that spontaneity, of just sort of flopping it over and then letting it be…
SFX: Hesse’s words echo and repeat Repetition Repetition
Repetition exaggerates. If something is meaningful, maybe it’s more meaningful said ten times. If something is absurd, it’s much more absurd, if it’s repeated. I was always aware of the absurdities in my work. And it was always more interesting than making something average, normal, right sized, right proportion.
SFX: The refrain of her echoing voice
This is Sans II, a sculpture made by Eva Hesse in 1968. This ochre-colored structure hangs on the wall like a giant piece of honeycomb. It runs horizontally seven feet long and three feet high, and at its deepest sticks out from the wall six-and-a-half inches. Molded out of fiberglass and polyester resin, it has a glossy, almost sticky look to it. The form is a grid of two rows and six columns. Each box on the grid is framed by a ridge made from the same resin, as if the material has been pulled like taffy and pinched together into a border. Further, every cell has a horizontal seam dividing it in half, creating boxes within boxes. The many right angles within this geometric structure are contrasted by the organic quality of the resin, which seems like it might be soft to the touch.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.