K. Marriott Jones

  • Ava Gerber

    It seemed that every corner of the gallery was littered with detritus, in the form of nearly 30 filthy, scrappy assemblages. Using dirt, hair, mildewed clothing, and other repulsive materials, Ava Gerber created a stale, claustrophobic environment; the space, covered with trailing wire and strings, resembled a spider’s web.

    In several pieces dirt, the archenemy of housewives, became a metaphor for the female self, depicting the underside of femininity as hideously abject. In Head in the Clouds (all works 1992) a small “cloud” of pressed dirt hung near a larger version of the same quatrefoil cloud

  • Eva Hesse

    In a now-famous 1970 interview, her death imminent, Eva Hesse told Cindy Nemser, “In my inner soul, life and art are inseparable. . . . Absurdity is the key word. It has to do with contradictions and oppositions.” Her affinity for paradox is revealed in her art as an extraordinary synthesis of organic and geometric form, a synthesis tempered by a sharp analytic edge. Hesse’s work ended by subverting Minimalism’s extreme insularity, causing what Robert Pincus-Witten aptly called its “disintegration.”

    A recent retrospective at Yale brought together a substantial selection of works, providing a rare