“The Object in Transition”

At this point I feel a little guilty when people want to buy [my latex works]. I think they know but I want to write them a letter and say it’s not going to last. I am not sure what my stand on lasting really is. Part of me feels that it’s superfluous and if I need to use rubber that is more important. Life doesn’t last; art doesn’t last. —Eva Hesse, 1970

Eva Hesse, Expanded Expansion, 1969. Installation view, J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008. From left: Exhibition copy of a section of the work, 2007; original left section; and original central section in storage crate.

“THE OBJECT IN TRANSITION: A Cross-Disciplinary Conference on the Preservation and Study of Modern and Contemporary Art” took place over two days this past January at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. It brought together art experts in various disciplines working on sculpture, painting, and mixed-media artworks, with attention paid to such diverse topics as “the importance of an artwork’s surface, dealing with process, the artist’s voice and intent, the life and death of objects, and methods of improved collaboration.” While

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