America Is Hard to See

Solo en Inglès

Kids can listen and learn from this audio guide highlighting selected works in America Is Hard to See.

Eva Hesse (1936–1970), _No Title_, (1969–1970). Latex, rope, string, and wire, Dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Mrs. Percy Uris Purchase Fund, and the Painting and Sculpture Committee 88.17a-b © The Estate of Eva Hesse, courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

Chose one point in Eva Hesse’s sculpture and follow that thick piece of tangled rope for as long as you can. Did you get very far?

To make this piece, Hesse dipped two knotted pieces of rope into liquid latex. You've probably seen this type of rubber used as a special effect in movies, where it’s used to imitate skin. When Hesse first made this piece, the soft latex gave the rope a life-like quality.

You might think of sculptures as being made from materials like stone or metal, which last a long time. But latex gets weaker and weaker over time: it becomes brittle and loses its form.
So while this sculpture might look soft and flexible, you wouldn’t be able to bend it—or really even touch it. The hard, fragile rope could easily crumble.