5 August– 25 October
Eva Hesse – Studiowork currently on show at the Fruitmarket gallery is an exhibition of works by the influential 20th Century sculptor, curated by Hesse scholars Briony Fer and Barry Rosen, offering a new presentation of a selection of her otherwise peripheral creations.
The name describes the state of the pieces on show, that are neither finished nor mere detritus; this title allows them to remain in a categorical limbo – presenting them as a body, their significance and meaning has a chance to take shape, whilst leading us to question the nature of their status.
Hesse’s work tends to occur as harmonious amalgams of seemingly contradictory qualities – industrial and organic, planned and randomness, order and irregularity.
Often corresponding to some of her more major final pieces the exhibition allows for an insight into her making process. There is a single hanging stretch of cheese-cloth laden with latex not dissimilar to one of the eight in her famous piece Contingent (1969), apparently made prior to and sharing the characteristic mingling of opacity and translucency. This, and her other works in latex, highlight the considerable ephemerality of the objects’ existence, over time the colours deepen and change, they become increasingly delicate. Some of her later formations, found after her tragically early death in 1970 and presented within this context may be read as a hint towards works that could have been made, or that never would have been. These aspects unite the selection as sort of ‘un-objects’ separate from the confines of glorified categorisation of art-object; their existence simultaneously nullifies.
The Fruitmarket presents a fresh and sensitive look at the work of an artist whose short though significant and influential career has been examined and esteemed in abundance. With the accompanying reading area and short explanatory video featuring Briony Fer, this exhibition is ideal for anyone interested in Hesse’s work and offers a rare insight for those already familiar.