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Eva Hesse: The Artist and The Kitchen

THE ARTIST

The biggest trend in design today is “personalization”, the late painter and sculptor Eva Hesse spoke of personalization before many of us were even born! She was speaking in terms of her art when she said,“It just seems to me that “personal” in art, if really pushed, is the most valued quality & what I want so much to find in & for myself.”

HESSE_Studio_Kettwig_1

Eva Hesse,  succumbed to a brain tumor in 1970 at the age of 34.  Although she only produced art for 10 years, from 1960 to 1970, she is known for her pioneering work in latex, fiberglass and plastic.  She was part of an art movement in the 1960s known as postminimalism. Hesse was among the first artists of the 1960s to experiment with the fluidity of the organic shapes of nature.  She used modern materials to portray organic forms including grid patterns and repetition. These themes were often found in minimalism, but Hesse typically made her works by hand while her contemporaries were using machines. This practice introduced a human element into her art.

Sans II 1968 Fibreglass 96.5 x 218. 4 x 15.6 cm 38 x 86 x 6¼"
Sans II 1968 Fibreglass 96.5 x 218. 4 x 15.6 cm 38 x 86 x 6¼” Photo courtesy of Saatchi Art

No Title 1970 rope dipped in latex, made shortly before her death Photo courtesy of Whitney Museum
No Title 1970 rope dipped in latex, made shortly before her death Photo courtesy of Whitney Museum

A new documentary about her life was released earlier this year and premiered at The Whitney Museum in New York City back in May.  I can’t wait to see it! Below is a clip.

“Eva Hesse” feature doc Intro from Tracing the Rope on Vimeo.

THE KITCHEN

I wonder what Eva’s kitchen would look like.  I could find no photo to give me clues but when I think of Eva I think of organic elements, natural finishes, bold shapes and even a touch of the absurd, which she loved!  Here are some kitchens evocative of Eva.

Lumicor showcases organic elements. Kitchen by Finne Architects
Lumicor showcases organic elements along back splash. Random drop pendants also seem Eva-ish! Kitchen by Finne Architects

 

Asian Kitchen– This style frequently features natural elements.  Kitchen by Seattle General Contractors Gaspar’s Construction

 

Mal Corby contmporary kitchen with organic element

 

I believe this is it, the quintessential Eva kitchen. I think she would be very at home here. Photo courtesy of anangelatmytable.blogspot.com
I believe this is it, the quintessential Eva kitchen. I think she would be very at home here. Photo courtesy of anangelatmytable.blogspot.com

On my morning walks, whenever I pass this spot I always look up and think of Eva.

photo by Artful Kitchens
photo by Artful Kitchens

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Gloria Graham-Sollecito

Gloria is a kitchen and bath cabinetry designer with AKBD certification from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. She has also served on the Florida Treasure Coast Chapter's Board of Directors as the VP of Communications. Her work has appeared on This Old House as well as in Florida Design Magazine, K+BB Magazine and the Palm Beach Post. She is co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Remodeling Your Kitchen, Illustrated, as well as a freelanced writer contributing occasionally to the Sun Sentinel in the area of kitchen design. She is a proud member of the Blanco Design Council and the illustrious Brizo Blogger 19.

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