‘Eva Hesse’ next up in UMFA Creativity in Focus Film Series

boca-screening-eva-hesse Daniel Theriault

The Creativity in Focus film series, a cinematic project put on by The Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Utah Film Center, turns to “Eva Hesse” for this month’s installment. The film will be exploring German postminimalist Eva Hesse’s legacy and life with the help of an abundance of archival footage.

The biographical documentary is directed by Marcie Begleiter, who recalled her first time looking at the works of Hesse in an interview with Vogue magazine.“I was just so engaged with it,” Begleiter remembered. “It didn’t fit in any particular place. It wasn’t minimalism. It wasn’t conceptualism. It was hard and soft. It was rational and absurd. In a way, it was ineffable. You couldn’t even talk specifically about what it was because it kept moving around.” This enigmatic and mystifying style was enough to propel Begleiter to conceive the first feature-length production interpreting this iconic postwar figure, which has been long-awaited by many in the art community.

The film highlights Hesse’s role as a leading figure in the vibrant art scene of the 1960s, all the while keeping in mind her identity as a female artist within a field primarily consisting of men. Employing several key components of minimalism, Hesse transcends that fixed label and lends an unusual organic quality to her work.

Her use of of latex, an unusual material at the time, was seen as revolutionary and demanded serious attention from the art community right from the get-go.  Latex had previously been used primarily for casting; Hesse circumvented this entirely, preferring to use it more like house paint, according to an article written on her in Arts & Antiques Magazine. According to the Utah Film Center’s brief description of the film, “[the director] makes superb use of the artist’s voluminous journals, her correspondence with close friend and mentor Sol LeWitt, and contemporary as well as archival interviews with fellow artists (among them, Richard Serra, Robert Mangold, Dan Graham) who recall her passionate, ambitious, tenacious personality.”

Whether you’re an avid art enthusiast or simply looking for a film that tells a rich story outside of the predominant white, male narrative, this event should certainly be at the top of your list for something fun and different to do on a Wednesday evening.

The screening will be held at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Katherine W. and Ezekiel R. Duke Jr. Auditorium. Admission for this 108 minute long US/German feature is free and open to the general public.

Come take part and broaden your knowledge of a historic decade of art as seen through the lens of a rare female perspective.

Theatrical release trailer: https://vimeo.com/156324186

Adress: 410 Campus Center Dr., Salt Lake City, UT, 84112

Image of theatrical release poster courtesy of Zeitgeist films