Kukje Gallery presents “Eva Hesse: Spectres and Studiowork,” an exhibition exploring the work of one of the twentieth century's most critically celebrated and influential artists.
Curated by Barry Rosen, Director of The Estate of Eva Hesse, and renowned Hesse scholars Briony Fer and E. Luanne McKinnon, the exhibition at Kukje Gallery will include paintings and sculptures from two critically acclaimed recent survey exhibitions: “Eva Hesse Spectres 1960” and “Eva Hesse: Studiowork.”
Each of the paintings in the exhibition was executed in 1960 when Hesse had just moved to New York upon graduating from Yale University. Hesse completed an astonishing forty-eight paintings in 1960, twenty of which are on view at Kukje Gallery. This group of paintings features a series of expressive faces and figures that hover between a rich corporality and a ghostly shadow-like presence. Hesse’s gestural brush strokes employ an earthy palette, drips and sgcraffito that are reminiscent of Willem de Kooning and the portraits of Alberto Giacometti, yet the figures command a unique shape and suggest a mirroring of the artist herself. The paintings function not only as self-portraits but, more profoundly, as an early indication of her complex spiritual and psychological oeuvre - providing invaluable insight into this influential artist’s private struggles and professional aspirations.
The sculptures included in the exhibition come from the recent show “Eva Hesse Studiowork.” Specifically included in this body of work are small sculptures that were previously considered ‘test-pieces’ or prototypes for larger sculptures. Recently renamed “studioworks” by curator Briony Fer in the survey exhibition, the sculptures are objects that evoke the vulnerability of the body while simultaneously demonstrating her acclaimed use of diverse materials.
The exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity to experience these two bodies of works. By showing these two distinct bodies of work, “Eva Hesse: Spectres and Studioworks,” presents an intimate portrait of Eva Hesse, showing both her courageous studio practice and her extraordinary contribution to art history.