Hannah Wilke is included in a two-person exhibition, alongside Eva Hesse, at Acquavella Galleries, New York. Titled ‘Eva Hesse / Hannah Wilke: Erotic Abstraction’ and curated by Eleanor Nairne of the Barbican Gallery, London, the show features 23 works made between 1965 and 1977, including foundational works in the history of post-Minimalist and feminist art.
Living in New York in the 1960s, Hesse and Wilke seemed at times to be working on parallel, if not entirely synchronized, tracks. Both turned to sculpture in the mid-1960s, and both became renowned for their experiments with form and materials, teaching sculpture at the School of Visual Arts at different times. Neither artist felt fully at ease with the language of Minimalism, which was ascendant in the New York art scene.
As Nairne writes, ‘Hesse and Wilke shared in the desire to adopt and subvert the strict geometries of Minimalism; softening the language of cool detachment with a sense of physical touch.’a Bringing a bodily sensibility to the rigid and sterile structures of Minimalism, each artist in her own way created work that was evocative, organic and sensual.