Eva Hesse | Chicago Reader

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105 minutes

Marcie Begleiter directed this warm documentary about the short, extraordinary life of the title artist, who died at age 34 of a brain tumor. Born in 1936, Hesse started as a painter influenced by abstract expressionism but ended up as a sculptor whose work helped establish postminimalism in the 60s. Her great talent was to make synthetic materials feel organic; cold, geometric forms appear personal, even sensual. Begleiter incorporates reminiscences by close friends, archival footage, and readings of diary entries and letters (delivered by actress Selma Blair) for an overview that should be instructive and inspiring to younger audiences, particularly aspiring artists.

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