Contemporary Sculpture

Sculpture Court
Ongoing through December 19, 2004
Featuring works by Joseph Beuys, Eva Hesse, Christian Holstad, Alison Saar, Doris Salcedo, Peter Shelton, and Kiki Smith, this selection represents the range of media and variety of approaches used to address the evolving discourse on how the body is understood and imagined by artists. A highlight of the selection is Eva Hesse’s 1966 Laocoön, inspired by the famous marble sculptural group deppicting a sea monster attacking the Trojan priest Laokoon and his two sons (Aeneid II. 199-231) The AMAM work is Hesse’s first major free-standing sculpture, in which she created a soaring vertical armature for the bodies draped with writhing cord-wrapped wires. The repetitive process of wrapping, binding, and layering is a ritualistic and compulsive bodily one that expresses the irrational, chaotic effect she sought to achieve. The Laocoön, and a series of other papier-mâché sculptures made in Germany in the mid-1960s, marked a turning point in Hesse’s perception of herself as an artist.


Eva Hesse
(American, 1936-1970)
Laocoön, 1966
Plastic tubing, rope, wire, papier-mâché, cloth, paint
Fund for Contemporary Art, and gift from the artist and the Fischbach Gallery
1970.32