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S32 Ep5

Eva Hesse

Premiere: 8/31/2018 | 00:01:43 |

One of the few women recognized as central to the New York art scene, she had over 20 group shows scheduled for 1970 in addition to being chosen for a cover article in ArtForum Magazine.

About the Episode

Photo credit: Herman Landshoff

As the wild ride of the 1960s came to a close, Eva Hesse, a 34 year-old German-born American artist was cresting the wave of a swiftly rising career. One of the few women recognized as central to the New York art scene, she had over 20 group shows scheduled for 1970 in addition to being chosen for a cover article in ArtForum Magazine. Her inventive sculptures were finally receiving both the critical and commercial attention they deserved. When she died in May 1970 from a brain tumor, the life of one of that decades’ most passionate and brilliant artists was tragically cut short. American Masters deepens the understanding of this extraordinary artist, not only in terms of her innovative work with fiberglass and latex, but also the life that provided the fertile soil for her achievements. Through dozens of new interviews, Hesse’s artwork and a wealth of newly discovered archival imagery, the documentary traces Hesse’s path and delves deep into the creative communities of 1960s New York and Germany. Written and directed by Marcie Begleiter.

 

 

“Accretion” (1968) by Eva Hesse. Installation at the Hamburger Kunsthalle 2013. Credit: MD Begleiter

 

“Repetition Nineteen III” (1968) by Eva Hesse. Credit: MD Begleiter.

See more art work by Eva Hesse.

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PRODUCTION CREDITS

Eva Hesse is a bdks production co-produced with Televisor Troika in co-production with Avro, SVT and WDR in cooperation with ARTE, with the support of Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. Marcie Begleiter is writer, director and producer. Karen S. Shapiro and Michael P. Aust are producers. Louise Rosen is consulting producer. Lawrence Benenson is executive producer. Funding is provided in part by Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Phillip & Muriel Berman Foundation, Agnes Gund through the A G Foundation, Larry Marx, Mickey and Jeanne Klein, Elizabeth A. Sackler Museum Educational Trust, Stolaroff Family Foundation, Kate Ganz, and California Community Foundation.

About American Masters
Launched in 1986 on PBS, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 14 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards, and many other honors. To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, American Masters offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, the American Masters Podcast, educational resources and more. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).

About The WNET Group
The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the community-supported home of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; NJ PBS, New Jersey’s statewide public television network; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider; and newsroom NJ Spotlight News. Through these channels and streaming platforms, The WNET Group brings arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month. The WNET Group’s award-winning productions include signature PBS series Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and Amanpour and Company and trusted local news programs MetroFocus and NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi. Inspiring curiosity and nurturing dreams, The WNET Group’s award-winning Kids’ Media and Education team produces the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase, interactive Mission US history games, and resources for families, teachers and caregivers. A leading nonprofit public media producer for nearly 60 years, The WNET Group presents and distributes content that fosters lifelong learning, including multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty, jobs, economic opportunity, social justice, understanding and the environment. Through Passport, station members can stream new and archival programming anytime, anywhere. The WNET Group represents the best in public media. Join us.

UNDERWRITING

Support for American Masters is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AARP, Rosalind P. Walter, Judith & Burton Resnick, The Cheryl & Philip Milstein family, Vital Projects Fund, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Seton J. Melvin, Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Ellen & James S. Marcus, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, The Ambrose Monell Foundation and public television viewers.

TRANSCRIPT

Eva's work spoke to a new generation of younger artists. She was the outstanding woman making sculpture in mid-late The work that was going on in New York at this time was very clean. Eva's work was different.

She was very personal was a lot of eroticism in her work. It was so full soul.

Eva Hesse was one of the the greatest artists of the 20th century.

'I was born in Germany in 1936.'

Her grandparents had all been killed by the Nazis.

'We went to America. It was the end of summer 1939. It was the last chance.'

Everything that happened to her, good or bad, empowered her.

That's the magnificence of art.

Her idea was to make an art that was on the borderline of uncontrollability.

I don't think all of us realized how good that work was I can see Eva just sitting there with her materials almost like they were another creature but not another creature maybe It was distinctive it was fragile... It was all those things that sculpture was not supposed to be.

One of the great things she teaches us is play.

One of the most exciting takes on painting that I've seen.

She was very smart.

Absolutely original.

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