• Eva Hesse, Image 5: Studiowork, 1969.

    Eva Hesse, Image 5: Studiowork, 1969.

    “Eva Hesse: Studiowork”

    The Fruitmarket Gallery
    45 Market Street
    August 5–October 5, 2009

    Camden Arts Centre
    Arkwright Road
    December 11, 2009–March 7, 2010

    Curated by Briony Fer and Barry Rosen

    Eva Hesse’s test pieces occupy a peripheral place in writings on the artist. As small as curios and variously shaped in latex, Sculp-metal, wire mesh, and wax, among other materials, they are typically seen as mere studies for the “major” works. It would seem that no aspect of Hesse’s art and life has escaped scrutiny: The artist’s drawings, her German works, and her paintings have each inspired recent shows, and it was almost inevitable that, like the croquetons of Seurat, Hesse’s test pieces would receive their due. Fortunately, the driving force here is Briony Fer, whose previous writings have thoroughly revised our understanding of process in postwar art and in Hesse’s work in particular. Neither merely monographic nor thematic, the show is that rare event: an exhibition generated by an idea.