HomeEntertainmentArtOne Work: Eva Hesse’s “Expanded Expansion”

One Work: Eva Hesse’s “Expanded Expansion”

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Delighting in inside contradiction and formal repetition—usually to absurd or exaggerated impact—Eva Hesse softened Minimalism’s onerous edges with pliable industrial supplies that evinced her contact. In 1967, after attending a collection of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) workshops, the artist started to sculpt with rubber latex; the next 12 months, assisted by a technician, she added fiberglass to her repertoire. The archival instability of those media—and the questions that their inevitable degradation raises in regards to the period of Process Art and the breaking level of fabric metaphors—is foregrounded in Expanded Expansion (1969), the just lately conserved sculpture round which Hesse’s solo present on the Guggenheim Museum revolves.

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Standing greater than 10 toes tall and, when absolutely prolonged, 30 toes vast, the accordion-like sculptural scrim contains 13 rubberized panels made by brushing liquid latex onto items of cheesecloth which can be suspended between upright poles handcrafted from bolstered fiberglass. Though it alludes to home or theatrical drapes, the work highlights materiality with its intrinsic colours and textures. Infusing monumentality with indeterminacy, Expanded Expansion is adaptable not solely in width however in orientation: on the Guggenheim, it was propped gingerly in opposition to the wall, however it will probably additionally lie on the ground or span a nook.

Hesse, who died from a mind tumor in 1970, was already ailing when she sculpted the work in February and March of 1969. In the many years since, the latex has embrittled, the uneven sequence of pale membranes stiffening into ocher hides. The museum’s conservation group bandaged the panels with polyester and tenderized them with warmth, reshaping them to mime their unique relationship with gravity. Hesse repeatedly asserted that she knew latex and fiberglass would break down; it’s much less clear whether or not she would have wished her work to be conserved. Perhaps the equivocality launched by materials transformation is the means by which Hesse’s experiments proceed to unfold, her course of increasing past the studio, even past her lifetime, into the current, the place it pushes up in opposition to museological impulses towards stability, management, and completion.  

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