Eva Hesse

Synopsis: 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.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min


EVA HESSE". There's not been

one normal thing in my life.

Not one.

Art is the easiest thing.

It doesn't mean

I've worked little on it,

but H's the only thing I never had to.

Eva Hesse was one of the

greatest artists of the 20th century.

Her idea was to make an art

that was on the borderline

of uncontrollability.

This was someone Who'd not

simply made small scale work,

but someone who's capable of

making really major statements.

HESSE". I have the most

openness about my art.

I'm willing, really,

to walk on the edge.

And if! haven't achieved it,

that's where f want to go.

Her sensibility was exquisite.

And you could feel the tension in her voice

when she spoke about her work.

I get so close,

then change,


I get distrustful of myself...

Painting went lousy today...

To be able to finish one

and stand ground.

This is me.

This is what I want to say.

Eva's life and her art definitely merged.

She wasn't just manipulating materials,

she was the materials.

It all fell together at one point for her.

And she ran with it.

One day,

it will all fit together,

and I feel capable

of being there and ready.

It will all have been Worthwhile

for What I've gained from it.


HESSE". I'm not a writer.

Nor, may you say

should be that pretentious

to write down my thoughts.

An Autobiographical Sketch of a Nobody.

This is the story of one whom,

from the outside,

reveals a rather pretty picture.

Pretty face,

pretty body

pretty dress.

However, the person

does not feel pretty inside.

I have felt, for the

majority of my life,

different, alone,

and apart from others.

To complicate the matter some,

for the last years I have shown and

developed talents as a painter,

a good one, at that.

Was H in my feeling

estranged and different

that I could claim

the title of painter'?

What I've accepted as the answer is

that the true artist

is paradoxically also

the true personal misfit.

Eva was definitely my father's favorite.

Not because...

Only because he, I think,

felt that she was more vulnerable.

I was the older one

and I understood more.

But I think that he was so off base.

Eva was the strong one.

There were times she felt helpless.

But she had gutsiness

right from the get-go.

When I was 16,

I Went to Pratt Institute.

And I didn't like it very much at all.

When you started painting class,

you had to do a lemon still life.

And then, you graduated to

a lemon and bread still life.

And then, you graduated to a lemon,

bread, and egg still life.

This was not my idea of painting.

I waited until I was getting As

instead of Cs,

and declared I was quitting.

I had to know that it Wasn't

because I Wasn't doing Well.

So, I had to go home.

As soon as I got there,

my stepmother said, Get a job.

So where do you go at 16-and-a-half,

knowing very little

and having an interest in art'?

I took myself to Seventeen Magazine.

And for some strange reason,

they hired me.

I think H was just because

of the gall of coming up there.

She had the experience of

working at a woman's magazine

and she said it made

a huge difference for her,

that it gave her confidence.

And she got some of her work

out into the world.

HESSE". I took the middle of the year

test for Cooper Union,

and that was the only plan I made.

I had to make H.

{got m.

And the following September,

I Went to Cooper Union,

which I loved from the very start.

Eva was certainly aware

that she wanted to be an artist.

But my father could not accept that.

Dear Evachen,

you were always very successful

in all that you did.

But painting and studying

are pleasant jobs.

In order to stand on your feet,

you have to do things which you feel

today are not so pleasant.

And if a person has a job

or earns a living,

this is something which

also gives satisfaction.

HESSE". Daddy, I want to do

more than just exist,

to live happily and contented

with a home, children,

to do the same chores every day.

Lam an artist.

I Want to experience

all What life has to offer.

And I have to do this for myself.


{met Eva when she was 17.

What fascinated me most about her

was her hands.

She spoke with her hands.

All the vitality in her

came through her hands.

We spent an enormous

amount of time together.

And that became

a very close friendship.

HESSE". Dearest Rosie,

I dreamt that you and I

collaborated on a book

Where We talked over our entire past,

very honest, nothing hidden.

The whole bit.

GOLDMAN". She was living on Jane Street.

She had a little room

with a gigantic bed.

She was very comfortable in this

box, almost, of a room.

As long as she could

do her art, it didn't matter.

We both

Went to Cooper Union and Yale.

I was two years younger than her

so I watched her.

I had this sense that

she was somebody to watch.

She was a very smart,

articulate and beautiful person

who needed someone to listen to her

so she could gel ll all out and work.

She went to Yale and studied painting,

famously with, most famously

with Josef Albers.

I was Albers'

little color study/st.

Everybody always called me that.

And every time he walked

into the classroom,

he would ask, What did Eva do?

The last two years have probably been

the two most eventful,

with the greatest of change

deep inside myself.

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Marcie Begleiter

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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