I belong in the age group that witnessed the rise and the too-short shining of the star that was Eva Hesse.
She was w-a-y outside the box right from the start.
If Paul Cézanne was the “father of us all” according to Picasso, Hesse was the mother of us all. According to me.
The images I’ve chosen are lesser known examples of her work that particularly appeal to me; the quotes come from correspondence between Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt.
I think art is a total thing. A total person giving a contribution.
It is an essence, a soul..
In my inner soul art and life are inseparable.
Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping … Stop it and just DO!
Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world.
If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety …
You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!
Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of, and see what happens, but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be …
I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that.
You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself.
For more information about Hesse:
And my sincere thanks to Marcie Begleiter for sending this link to a wonderful article about the correspondence between Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt:
Sol LeWitt’s Advice To Eva Hesse Is What Every Creative Person Needs To Hear
Marcie Begleiter is the director of the documentary film Eva Hesse, which premiered in May this year at the Whitney Museum of American Art. You can read more about it here:
Images sourced from the public domain.
11 thoughts on “just DO!”
Oh my God
I had to let that first outburst stay alone – her words are like a bottle brush – THANK YOU Louisa – I am printing them out and posting them right in front of me on my worktable
It’s a mystery as to why, but we all seem to need repeated encouragement to DO what we love to do.
I adore the ‘bottlebrush’ metaphor – so visual!
Thank you dear Nina
and to love what I do, I needed the reminder that its OK to make “bad art” 🙂
Great to hear from Eva – thank you Miriam – simply wonderful!
“You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!” – Eva Hesse
‘When you learn to be a big idiot,
then you start to have some skill;
Studying until you are as if stupid
is the beginning of real insight.’
If you can learn to be as if stupid, then no matter what Dharma door
you cultivate you will attain samadhi and gain some realization.
It’s just because you are unable to be stupid that you cannot
properly enter into samadhi and don’t get any response from your
~The Shurangama Mantra–
The Efficacious Language of Heaven and Earth
Lectures by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
Wonderful words and images – thank for posting! And a note about the quotes in the post – some are from Hesse, and also many are by Sol LeWitt in a letter TO Eva. You can see more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/eva-hesse-letters-sol-lewitt_562f79ede4b00aa54a4b18d8
Thank you Marcie! I’m delighted to have the link, and to be able to correct my impression that the quotes were all Eva’s. I will edit the post accordingly, and add the link. You have made a wonderful contribution – I am truly grateful.
Thank for sharing the best advice given, let everything go to hell you are not responsible for the world you are responsible for your work. Whew, what freedom!
My pleasure Miriam. Thanks for the revision and the links to “Eva Hesse”! The film will open in NY on April 27th at Film Forum and then in other places around the country and worldwide. There is also an upcoming screening at the National Gallery in DC on February 27th, if you know anyone in that area who would be interested. More info at http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/calendar/film-programs/winter16/hesse.html
This is so wonderful and inspiring to read. Thank you Miriam for sharing it. Mx