Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt celebrates the close friendship between two of the most significant American artists of the postwar era: Eva Hesse (1936–1970) and Sol LeWitt (1928–2007). While Hesse’s and LeWitt’s practices diverged in innumerable, seemingly antithetical ways, this exhibition illuminates the crucial impact of their friendship on both their art and their lives, featuring many works that have not been publicly exhibited for decades.
Hesse and LeWitt first met in New York in the late 1950s. They and other artists, including Robert Mangold, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, and Robert Ryman, as well as the art critic Lucy R. Lippard, all lived within close proximity on the Bowery and supported one another in significant ways. In spite of the differences between their artistic processes, Hesse and LeWitt developed a close bond, evident in the extensive correspondence that ensued over the course of their friendship, which lasted more than a decade.
In 1970, immediately upon learning of Hesse’s premature death at the age of 34, LeWitt created Wall Drawing #46 in her honor for a show in Paris. The work consists of a wall covered with “not straight” pencil lines that LeWitt drew as a way of paying homage to the organic contours that were a hallmark of Hesse’s art. More than an isolated gesture of affection, Wall Drawing #46 demonstrates how Hesse’s artistic influence shaped LeWitt’s practice in indelible ways. Also on view will be iconic sculptures and exquisite drawings by Hesse that illustrate the reverse: how LeWitt influenced Hesse’s evolution as an artist.
Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt is organized by the Blanton Museum in Austin, Texas. A scholarly catalogue published in association with Yale University Press accompanies the exhibition and includes essays by Veronica Roberts, Lucy R. Lippard, and others.