Eva Hesse was an influential artist of the postminimalist movement that began in the late 1960s. Incorporating the minimalist principles of reduced geometric forms and grid patterns as her foundation, she felt unsatisfied by their rigid masculine forms and sought out more flexible materials for greater expressive content. Because women were having difficulty being accepted in the art world, Hesse struggled to reconcile what she felt to be her two opposing identities, the one as an artist, the other as a woman.
The result is the simple cube form with a systematic grid on the outside with a controlled and fixed appearance, while on the inside the tubing allows gravity and chance to pull it in different directions. This became a highly charged work for Hesse, symbolizing the detached state she maintained on the exterior in contrast with her chaotic feelings inside.
Artist Eva Hesse, American, 1936-1970
Title
  • Accession II
Date 1969
Medium galvanized steel and vinyl
Dimensions Overall: 30 3/4 × 30 3/4 × 30 3/4 inches, 117 pounds (78.1 × 78.1 × 78.1 cm, 53.1 kg)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Friends of Modern Art Fund and Miscellaneous Gifts Fund
Accession Number 79.34
Department Contemporary Art after 1950
On View Contemporary N240, Level 2 (see map)
Collection of the artist.
(Fischbach Gallery, dealer, New York, New York, USA).
before 1970, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA.
(Droll/Kolbert Gallery, dealer, New York, New York, USA);
1979-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Nemser, Cindy. Art Talk: Conversations with 12 Women Artists. New York, 1975, pp. 59-63.

Lippard, Lucy R. Eva Hesse. New York, 1976, pp. 102-105 (figs. 142, 143), 229 (cat. 70).

Bulletin of the DIA 58, no. 4, 1980, p. 205 (ill.).

The New Sculpture 1965-75: Between Geometry and Gesture. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1986, p. 73 (ill.).

Between Geometry and Gesture: American Sculpture 1965-1975. Exh. cat., Palacio de Velasquez, Parque Del Retiro. Madrid, 1986, cat. no. 67.1, p. 51, fig. 38.

Nemser, Cindy. "Eva Hesse." Eau de Cologne (February 1988): 51.

Barrette, Bill. Eva Hesse Sculpture. Catalogue Raisonne. New York, 1989, pp. 140-141 (cat. 58).

Chadwick, Whitney. Women, Art, and Society. London, 1990, pp. 339, 341 (fig. 207).

Heartney, Eleanor. "The New Sculpture 1965-1975." Art News (September 1990): 168 (ill.).

Simon, Joan. "Eva Hesse ou la ligne deveneant lumieres." Art Press, no. 157 (April 1991): 35-41.

Hughes, Robert. "Telling an Inner Life." Time Magazine (December 1992): 68-69 (ill.).

Mariott Jones, K. "Eva Hesse, Yale University Gallery." Artforum (October 1992): 111-112.

Chave, Anna. Eva Hesse, 1992, p. 110.

Cooke, Lynne. "Exhibition review: New Haven Eva Hesse." The Burlington Magazine 134, no. 1072 (1992): 465-66.

Taplin, Robert. "Vital Parts." Art in America 81, no. 2 (February 1993): 70-75, (p. 72, ill.).

Huchet, Stephane. "Eva Hesse, au-dela du cube.” Beaux Arts (May 1993): ill.

Koniger, Maribel. "Konzeption mit Haut und Haar." Neue Bildende Kunst, no. 3 (Summer 1993): 29-32 (p. 30, ill.).

Wagner, Anne Middleton. "Another Hesse." October, no. 69 (Summer 1994): 49-84 (ill. pp. 67-68).

Zelevansky, Lynn. Sense and Sensibility: Women Artists and Minimalism in The Nineties. New York, 1994, p. 9 (ill.).

Wagner, Anne Middleton. Three Artists (Three Women): Modernism And The Art Of Hesse, Krasner, O'keefe. Berkeley, CA, 1996, pp. 258-260 (figs. 83, 85).

Batchelor, David. Movements in Modern Art: Minimalism. London, 1997, pp. 73-74 (fig. 56).

Swartz, Anne. "Accession II: Eva Hesse's Response to Minimalism." Bulletin of the DIA 71, no. 1/2 (1997): 36-45.

Fitzgerald, Michael, ed. A Life of Collecting: Victor And Sally Ganz. New York, 1997, p. 194 (ill.).

Hughes, Robert. American Visions--The Epic History of 'Art In America.' New York, 1997, p. 578 (fig. 344).

Janson, Horst W. and Anthony F. Janson. History of Art. New York, 1997, p. 866 (fig. 1147).

"Eva Hesse." Revista Veja Brasil (September 30, 1998).

Barlow, Margaret. Women Artists. Southport, CT, 1999, p. 298 (ill.).

Krauss, Rosalind E. Bachelors. Cambridge, MA, 1999, p. 95 (ill.).

Perry, Gil, ed. Gender And Art. New Haven, 1999, p. 241 (ill.).

Krajewski, Sara. Leonardo Drew. Madison, WI, 1999, p. 27 (ill.).

Chave, Anna C. "Minimalism and Biography." The Art Bulletin 82, no. 1 (March 2000): cover (ill.), pp. 151-152 (ill.).

Meyer, James. Minimalism. London, 2000, pp. 32, 115 (ill.).

Potts, Alex. The Sculptural Imagination. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000, p. 344-345 (figs 147, 148).

Ratcliff, Carter. Out of The Box: The Reinvention of Art, 1965 - 1975. New York, 2000, p. 138.

Hopkins, David. After Modern Art 1945 - 2000. New York, 2000, p. 150 (fig. 75).

Grosenick, Uta, ed. Women Artists: Kunstlerinnen Im 20 Und 21 Jahrhundert. Koln: Taschen, 2001, p. 208 (ill.).

Harris, Jonathon. The New Art History: A Critical Introduction. London, 2002, p. xvi (ill.).

Dick, Leslie. "Eva Hesse: Random Notes." X-Tra 5, no. 2 (2002): 30-35.

Ermen, Reinhard. "Eva Hesse." Kunstforum International, no. 162 (November/December 2002): 346-349.

Taylor, Sue. "Vessels and Vacancies." Art in America, no. 11 (November 2002): 130 – 139.

Nixon, Mignon, ed. Eva Hesse. Cambridge, MA, 2002, p. 160 (ill.), p. 162 (ill.).

Bippus, Elke. Serielle Verfahren. Pop Art, Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, and Postminimalism. Berlin, 2003, pp. 135-136 (fig. 54).

Joselit, David, ed. American Art Since 1945. London, 2003, p. 115 (ill.).

Bostrom, Antonia, ed. The Encyclopedia of Sculpture (Volume 1-3). New York, 2004, p. 749 (ill.).

Reichensperger, Petr. Eva Hesse: Die Dritte Kategorie. Munchen, 2005, p. 129 (ill.).

Tietenberg, Annette. Konstruktionen Des Weiblichen. Eva Hesse: Ein Kunstlerinnenmythos Des 20. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 2005, p. 65 (ill.).

Broude, Norma and Garrard, Mary D., eds. Reclaiming Female Agency: Feminist Art History After Postmodernism. Berkeley, CA, 2005, p. 384 (ill.).

Bois, Yve-Alaine. "Dumb." Eva Hesse: Sculpture. New York, 2006, pp. 17-27, fig. 1, p. 17 (col. ill.).

Weidemann, Christiane, Petra Larass, and Melanie Klier. 50 Women Artists You Should Know. New York, 2008, p. 118 (ill.).

1968: Die Grose Unschuld (1968: The Great Innocence). Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld. Koln, 2009, pp. 408-409 (ill.).

Standing in the Shadows of Love: the Aldrich Collection 1964-1974. Exh. cat., the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Ridgefield, CT, 2014, p. 5 (ill.).

Baum, Kelly. Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason 1950-1980. Exh. cat., Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2017, pp. 99, 211 (pl. 2).