A LIFE IN LINES _ GEGO AND EVA HESSE
Artists GEGO (born Gertrud Goldschmidt) and Eva Hesse were both born in the city of Hamburg/ Germany in the 1930s and both of them stand out with their pioneering and experimental work using new approaches and material. High time to pay tribute to both of them – thus Kunsthalle Hamburg has put up two stunning exhibitions running concurrently through January 2014: “Eva Hesse – One more than one”GEGO – Line as object”.
Eva Hesse (Hamburg, 1936 – New York, 1970) was one of the foremost women artists of the 20th century. In the mid-1960s she began experimenting with new materials that had never before been used to produce art objects; these included polyester, fiberglass and latex. Hesse’s highly distinctive sculptures, which are now included in the collections of major international museums, combine multiple – and also opposing – qualities such as hard and soft, fragile and substantial, abstract and evocative
While their seriality and reduction show the influence of the emerging Minimal Art movement, her sculptures and drawings are uniquely charged with sensuous materiality and physicality. EVA HESSE. One More than One is the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work in her native city, which she was forced to leave in 1938.
Her family were Jewish, and in 1939 they emigrated via the Netherlands and England to New York. In the 1950s Eva Hesse studied painting at the Cooper Union School and also at Yale School of Art and Architecture.
The exhibition focuses on sculptures and drawings from the latter part of her short career – the highly productive phase from 1966 until her early death in 1970. Featuring numerous loans from major international museums and private collections, it provides an extremely rare opportunity to view Eva Hesse’s late works, some of which are being shown in Germany for the very first time.
A second, concurrent exhibition – GEGO. Line as Object – is portraying the work of GEGO (Hamburg, 1912 – Caracas, 1994) . 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 were pioneers of spatial installation and also in the use of non-traditional materials in the context of art.