Anne Wagner at the LRB:
The idea of negation was central to the tensions Hesse created and mediated in her sculptures. One of her favourite descriptions of them was ‘chaos structured as non-chaos’: it captures the distinctive look of her work and its commitment to disruptive repetition. Her graph paper drawings put the contradiction to work, the essential orderliness of a grid providing her with a structure for her chaos. When she chose a green-ruled variety as the matrix for a tightly inked pattern, it was so that the opposition between line and circle, the harmony of repeated shapes and the freeform, would seem almost to hum on the page. This piece is one among hundreds of drawings included in Eva Hesse Oberlin, a travelling exhibition distilled from the enormous collection of Hesse’s works and papers (some 1500 items) housed at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College in Ohio. Hesse wasn’t educated at Oberlin, but at Yale: it was her elder sister, Helen, who chose Oberlin for reasons that, many years later, seem both savvy and poignant.