Hang Up, created by Eva Hesse in 1966, is a significant sculptural work that achieved the level of “absurdity or extreme feeling” she intended. The sculpture is made from acrylic on cloth over wood and acrylic on cord over steel tube, representing the artist’s transition from working in two to three dimensions. Hang Up was an ironic commentary on painting, symbolizing Hesse’s explorations with unconventional materials and production methods.
Eva Hesse was known for her avant-garde approach to art-making during the post-Abstract Expressionist era. Her paintings often had strange shapes and strong colors, with unique and powerful compositions. As she began to focus more on sculptures like Hang Up, she explored themes of transience and pathos.
Art critics have described Hang Up as symbolic of suppressed yearning for release because of its unique composition. This artwork represented the artist’s maturity in conceptualizing works that were more personal rather than just stylistic experiments. Hang Up occupies a unique place among Eva Hesse’s oeuvre because it signaled her breakthrough into a new phase of creation using various materials to convey different ideas beyond traditional mediums.