Chicago

Eva Hesse

The Renaissance Society

The earliest drawing in this retrospective dates from 1958 and the latest from 1969, the year before Eva Hesse died. The rich and comprehensive selection provides a unique opportunity to study works that are now dispersed and rarely seen apart from the sculpture. But despite the quality of the curatorial selection and the beauty of individual drawings, especially the gouaches, the exhibition resonates because of the constant foreshadowing of and relationship to the ideas and forms of the sculpture.

Ellen Johnson, who curated the show for the Allen Memorial Art Museum in Oberlin, Ohio, makes a convincing case in her catalogue essay for the central position of drawing in Hesse’s work and career. She points to the drawings as the area in which Hesse found her personal style, notes that she was better in her drawings than on canvas, and finally suggests that it was in her use of line that Hesse

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