Directed by Marcie Begleiter
Eva Hesse (1936-1970) is one of America’s foremost postwar artists.
Her pioneering sculptures, using latex, fiberglass, and plastics, helped establish the post-minimalist movement. Dying of a brain tumor at age 34, she had a mere decade-long career that, despite its brevity, is dense with complex, intriguing works that defy easy categorization. EVA HESSE, the first feature-length appreciation of her life and work, makes superb use of the artist’s voluminous journals, her correspondence with close friend and mentor Sol LeWitt, and contemporary as well as archival interviews with fellow artists (among them, Richard Serra, Robert Mangold, Dan Graham) who recall her passionate, ambitious, tenacious personality. Art critic Arthur Danto has written that her work is: “full of life, of eros, even of comedy… Each piece vibrates with originalit and mischief.” The documentary captures these qualities, but also the psychic struggles of an artist who, in the downtown New York art scene of the 1960s, was one of the few women to make work that was taken seriously in a field dominated by male pop artists and minimalists.
Learn more at: https://www.evahessedoc.com/
CRITIC’S PICK. A major artist… (A) conscientious and moving documentary (that makes) ample and judicious use of Hesse’s letters and diaries… Among her closest confidants was Sol LeWitt… Their correspondence is clearly a remarkable trove of art world gossip, fraternal feeling and critical insights, and it provides this film its emotional and intellectual grounding. A story of mastery and self-discovery. Conveys a vivid sense of the sexual politics of the New York art world in the 1960s. An indispensable aid to understanding and appreciating a fascinating artist.
ONE OF THE 6 MOVIES YOU CAN'T MISS THIS MONTH. It’s in tracing how a woman finds her own distinctive voice in an art world full of men so assured they’d be taken seriously that the film really comes into its own, reverberantly depicting how Hesse went from the side room and the supportive role to being the one who was in the spotlight, however briefly.
Hesse had one of the 20th century’s more compelling life stories. A charismatic figure… she has inspired passionate adoration. She successfully synthesized the newly ascendant minimalist and serial tendencies with a witty form of eccentric expressionism and a subversive use of new materials… She shook up categories, produced ambitious works charged with pathos and wit – but like Vincent Van Gogh or Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, or more to the point, fellow neurotic and alienated Jew Franz Kafka, her art cannot be separated from her biography.
Insightful and illuminating... Marcie Begleiter's intimate documentary...serves as a valuable primer about her life and artistic legacy.
A vibrant, affecting piece of filmmaking that’s sure to widen Hesse's following.
Lively, intelligent, and moving!
An enthralling and deeply affecting tribute... it is wonderful to have Marcie Begleiter’s documentary as a permanent audiovisual record of the artist’s life and achievements.