On view in the Clinton Adams Gallery, March 26 to July 24, 2011
The exhibition includes nineteen seminal and rarely seen paintings by renowned artist, Eva Hesse (1936-70). Created when Hesse was 24 years old, and following her graduation from Yale School of Art, this group of semi-representational oil paintings stands in contrast to her later minimalist structures and sculptural assemblages, yet constitutes a vital and telling link in the progression of her mature work. There are two distinct campaigns within the series: loosely rendered figures are standing or dancing in groups of two or three; and, a range of distorted depictions resembling the artist may be considered self-portraits.
As Luanne McKinnon, director of the UNM Art Museum and curator of the exhibition notes, “Looking inwardly and outwardly and with paint as her guide, she began to paint herself out and away and ahead.” The procession of paintings under examination here represents a rupture that, once completed (not as a formal solution but rather as a psychological denouement), settled back into solving the problems presented in abstraction, eventually evolving into the constructions that Hesse is lauded for. Eva Hesse Spectres 1960 aims to further an understanding of the development of Hesse’s artistic voice and contribution, as the spectre paintings demand an historical reconsideration of when Hesse became “Hesse.”
Eva Hesse Spectres 1960 was organized by the University of New Mexico Art Museum and made possible by the FUNd Endowment, the Julius Rolshoven Memorial Fund, and the Robert Lehman Foundation.
The American tour of the exhibition will continue to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum from September 16, 2011 to January 8, 2012. brooklynmuseum.org
The publication Eva Hesse Spectres 1960 (Yale University Press, 2010; 90 pp; hardbound, full color, $39.95) is available at the Museum Book Shelf. Contributors: Helen Molesworth, Elisabeth Bronfen, Louise S. Milne, and E. Luanne McKinnon.