Eva Hesse: Postminimalism Pioneer

Photograph of Eva Hesse, ca. 1959 | Gelatin silver print from a 120 black and white negative | Eva Hesse Archive, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College. Gift of Helen Hesse Charash, 1977

Eva Hesse was born into a Jewish family in Nazi Germany on January 11, 1936. In December of 1938 her parents sent Eva and her older sister, Helen Hesse Charash, to the Netherlands to escape on one of the last Kindertransport trains out of Germany.

The family reunited and fled to New York City in 1939, where Hesse attended the School of Industrial Art at the age of 16. She continued practicing the arts and eventually helped pioneer the 1960’s Postminimalism movement (which was formed to move beyond Minimalism) with her drawings and sculptures which were created with unique “found” materials like latex, string, fiberglass, rubber, and plastics.

Repetition Nineteen III (1968) | The Estate of Eva Hesse
no title (1961) | The Estate of Eva Hesse
Ringaround Arosie (1965) | Eva Hesse | MoMa

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