Robert Morris & Eva Hesse

Robert Morris:

Morris coined the term ‘anti-form’, inspired by Jackson Pollock’s dripping technique. ‘Anti-form’ refers to the process in which art work is made, where you relinquish control and exploit chance. In 1967 Morris became interested in the sculptural possibilities of softer materials and began a series of Untitled works which have been informally referred to as ‘Tangle(s)’. Relinquishing control, he allowed strips of randomly cut, heavy industrial felt to drop and fall into a pile, exaggerating the subtle pliability of his chosen material.

Morris has also created many other works using felt where he has strategically cut and placed the felt in such a way as to form beautifully symmetrical sculptures, allowing the felt to sag and drape under its natural weight. Again utilizing ‘anti-form’, he allows gravity to contort the felt, which in turn demonstrates its weight and flexibility, producing soft undulating forms.Fg100781

 

Eva Hesse:

Known for her pioneering use of materials such as latex, fiberglass, and plastics, Hesse is one of the artists who ushered in the post-minimal art movement in the late 1960s. Hesse preferred her sculptures to lie somewhere between ugliness and beauty. She stayed true to the raw nature of her materials, not manipulating them too much, and allowing the process of construction to be visible. Unlike traditional minimalism Hesse’s work can be described using words such as: strangled, clumsy, knotted, choked, sagging, distended, puckered, and creased. All words that can be used to describe the body, which is a common theme throughout her work. There is also a fragility to Hesse’s work; the rubber and other materials she used just don’t last, therefore evoking the fragility of the human body but also the human psyche.

‘Right After’ (1969) was one of the last pieces Hesse made before she died. Inspired by Jackson Pollock’s drip works, this work was formed utilizing gravity, allowing the fiberglass to dry while suspended. This work is also an example of her using the gallery space in order to structure the work, tethered to the ceiling, in an almost primitive way.tumblr_mn7ajnfN9C1s60wu6o1_1280

 

Reflection:

Although Morris and Hesse use ‘industrial’ materials, they are not rigid, but instead pliable, and fluid. The hanging of their works and focus on materials are the primary qualities which create a dialogue between these artists, yet one is clean and symmetrical while the other embraces process and imperfection. I intend to merge these two characteristics, experimenting with the process and manipulation of textiles, to create pleasing uniform shapes, whilst not losing the textural qualities of the raw material.

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Author: Crisiant Williams

I am a Fine Art student, studying at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

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