This exhibition focuses on “Expanded Expansion” (1969), a monumental work from the Guggenheim collection that is on public view for the first time in 35 years, and also offers a glimpse into the artist’s studio practice and approach to art making. To create “Expanded Expansion“, Eva Hesse juxtaposed soft, draping panels of rubberized cheese cloth with rigid poles of fibreglass and polyester resin that extend to form ‘legs’. The work’s repeated segments rest against the wall and can be manipulated to expand and contract. The artist described the work as “opposing in form, large, looming, powerful but precarious”. Embodying his interest in materiality, absurdity and incongruity, this presentation foregrounds the temporalities of display and interpretation, elucidating the contextual nature of perception and the experience and handling of an artwork over time.
Accompanying the artwork, is a group of small experimental works, arranged similarly to the artist’s work table, revealing Hesse‘s hand and visceral handling of materials.
Previously unseen archive video and audio – the artist in her studio filmed by Dorothy Beskind and an interview by art historian and feminist activist Cindy Nemser – provide an open interpretation of the artist’s words and a rare glimpse into his working and living space.
The influential and experimental artist Eva Hesse sought to make objects that were neither painting nor sculpture, but a hybrid of her own.