Eva Hesse - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Ellis B. Haizlip, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
    Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1960)
    Sotheby’s, New York, November 15, 2006, lot 120
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Literature

    Renate Petzinger and Barry Rosen, eds., Eva Hesse Catalogue Raisonné Volume I: Paintings, New Haven, 2006, no. P19, pp. 56-57 (illustrated, p. 57)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “A painting can only be as much as its creator, a mirror of himself, not merely an outburst of an emotion or mood...The essential forces directing me presently are motivated by the desire of being a painter. The word painter connotes significant meaning, a way of approaching life, living fully not merely existing. A painting must be approached with fully awakened eyes and mind.”
    Eva Hesse

    Eva Hesse’s brilliant and tragically brief career is most often examined in the context of her work as a post-minimalist sculptor, whose highly charged and evanescent forms evoke deeply personal and emotional responses despite their industrial material. However, as is clear in her diary entries from 1957, Hesse, at least early on, was driven by her desire to paint. Executed in 1956, just a year prior to this entry, this Untitled work is emblematic of her motivations as an artist and her conception of the power of painting. The luscious, organic blues, greens, taupes, and ochres shot through with brilliant splashes of orange and red, display an unbelievable vivacity and eroticism that would become such a hallmark of her work in latex. Indeed, those latex pieces, in which Hesse subverted the medium’s intended application as a cast material, were painted up, layer upon layer, imbuing them with her psychological and physical self. Her early paintings, of which Untitled is a particularly detailed and vibrant example, served to support Hesse’s belief in the primacy of the tactile – an emotional engagement with the object that would activate and elevate her practice and its position within the postwar canon. “The degree to which I become a ‘painter’ is synonymous with what I make of myself as a person.” (Eva Hesse, quoted in, Barry Rosen, ed., Eva Hesse: Diaries, New Haven, 2016, p. 95)



signed and dated "eva hesse 56" lower right; further signed "EVA HESSE" on the reverse
oil on canvas
28 x 40 in. (71.2 x 101.6 cm.)
Painted in 1956.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
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20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Morning Session

New York Auction 15 November 2017