Author(s): Briony Fer
Throughout her career, Eva Hesse (1936-1970) produced a significant number of small, experimental works alongside her large-scale sculpture. These so-called 'test-pieces' were made in a wide range of materials, including latex, wire-mesh, sculp-metal, wax, and cheesecloth. Rather than considering them simply technical explorations, the art historian Briony Fer renames these small objects studiowork and argues that they put in question conventional notions of what sculpture is. The book contains a comprehensive catalogue of the studiowork, including many new works that have never before been seen in public. Although previously these small works were considered peripheral to the major sculptures, this fascinating new study argues that they force us to ask fundamental questions, not just about what an artwork is, but about the work that art does in our culture.