One more than one
29 November 2013 – 2 March 2014
Galerie der Gegenwart
EvaHesse, Photo: Hermann Landshoff, © Estate of Eva Hesse. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth ZürichLondon / Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Fotografie, Archiv Landshoff
Eva Hesse (b. 1936 in Hamburg – d. 1970 in New York) was one of the foremost women artists of the 20th century. Her artistic practice combined the seriality and reduction of 1960s Minimalism with emotion, sensuousness and physicality, while the transparency and transience of her unconventional materials also contributed greatly to her unique position in the art world of her day. From November 2013 onward, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is presenting the first solo exhibition of Hesse's work in her native city.
Born in 1936, Eva Hesse emigrated with her family via the Netherlands and England to the United States in 1938. They settled in New York City, where she later studied painting at Cooper Union School of Art from 1954 to 1957, and then continued her studies in the master class of Josef Albers at Yale School of Art and Architecture from 1957 to 1959. At the invitation of Friedrich Arnhard Scheidt, a German industrialist and art collector, and his wife Isabel, Eva Hesse and her husband Tom Doyle spent a year in Kettwig an der Ruhr during 1964/65. This period is regarded as a turning point in Hesse's artistic practice. Drawing inspiration from the materials she found in an abandoned textile factory in Kettwig, she made her first three-dimensional artworks, and when she returned to New York she devoted herself exclusively to sculpture, creating fragile works in unconventional materials such as polyester, fibreglass and latex. Eva Hesse died of a brain tumour in 1970, aged just 34. The exhibition at the Hamburger Kunsthalle focuses on the latter part of the artist's career, a highly productive period in which she created a substantial number of sculptures and drawings.
Concurrently with EVA HESSE. One more than one, the exhibition GEGO. Line as Object is being presented on the 2nd floor of the Galerie der Gegenwart. For the first time, works by these two internationally renowned artists are being presented in dialogue in Hamburg, the city of their birth. Each in their own way, Eva Hesse and Gego, whose real name was Gertrud Goldschmidt (1912–1994), were pioneers of spatial installation and also in the use of non-traditional materials in the context of art.
Including around 100 exhibits in a wide range of media (drawing, collage, painting, installation and sculpture), the two exhibitions present groups of works by Gego and Hesse that have rarely or never been shown in Germany before.
Curators: Dr. Brigitte Kölle and Dr. Petra Roettig