Eva Hesse (1936–1970) was a German-American artist who had a short but exceptional career. Born in Hamburg into a Jewish family, Hesse was forced to flee Germany during the rise of Nazism. Eva and her sister Helen travelled by Kinderstransport to Amsterdam, stayng at a children’s home until their parents arrived three months later. Reunited, the family moved to New York in 1939 but Hesse’s mother suffered from depression which led to her suicide in 1946. Hesse studied at New York’s High School of Industrial Arts and the Art Students League graduating from The Yale School of Art andArchitecture in 1959. During this period she worked in an abstract impressionist style. In 1961, she exhibited a series of drawings and watercolours at the John Heller Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum and Wadsworth Athenaeum. She became friends with Sol Le Witt and Yayoi Kusama who were experimenting with minimalist and conceptual art and this influenced her style.
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