A superstar in the art world, but little known outside, why does Eva Hesse continue to excite passions? This brilliant, gifted and visionary woman of 1960s NY survives personal chaos while creating work that changes the profile of art history. Along with creating a significant and deeply influential body of work during her short life, her story overlaps some of 20th century's most intriguing moments: Germany in the 1930's, New York's Jewish culture of immigration in the 1940's and the art scene in Manhattan and Germany in the 1960's. Hesse, one of the most important 20th century artists is finally revealed in this character-driven film, an emotionally gripping and inspiring journey with an artist of uncommon talent, a woman of extraordinary courage.
Eva Hesse has been dead for over 45 years. In the short time she had, she became an A- list artist whose work is sometimes classified as post-minimalist. The work is so different from anything else, you may not immediately be drawn to it. But the organic forms, the inventiveness of the materials, and the playfulness make it worth spending time with, and it still has a significant following and is displayed in major exhibits in the U.S, and Europe.
The film does a fine job with the spare resources available--old photos and film, augmented by interviews with people who knew Hesse well. It traces how Hesse's art developed across her brief career with many shots of the work itself along with Hesse's diary entries and comments by contemporaries, including famous ones like Sol Lewitt and Carl Andre.
The film also sketches her personal history, and you get a feeling for what she went through and how she responded to various life events, but as one of the men who loved her said, she really was mainly focused on her work.
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