Eva Hesse was born in Germany in 1936. She and her sister escaped Nazi persecution by fleeing on a children's train and were later reunited with their parents and moved to New York. She studied painting and drawing at Cooper Union and Yale University. In 1964, she and her husband, the sculptor Tom Doyle, were invited to make art in a German factory by the textile manufacturer and collector F. Arnhard Scheidt.
While she and Doyle shared a floor of the factory, Hesse began creating her first sculptures. She began by making reliefs, inspired by the qualities of string and plaster. From reliefs she moved to objects, using papier mâché, paint, tubing, dyed nets and dangling string. Following these sculptures she made a greater use of repetition and began to incorporate metal into her work.
In 1967, Hesse discovered latex (a material that she knew would eventually deteriorate), fiberglass and polyester resin. Hesse loved the irregular shapes and surfaces that these materials produced, and also the translucency. Hesse often created elaborate, handmade pieces involving obsessive repetition. However, she was not interested in certain technical aspects of sculpture. For many of her later pieces made of metal and fiberglass, she left the fabrication to outside companies. During the late '60's, it was popular to remove the appearance of the artist's hand from the work. For Hesse, it was more for practical reasons than intellectual ones. During this period, when she was creating some of her most well known pieces, she developed brain tumors and continued to work until she became too ill. Then, she directed assistants to create and install her work. Hesse died in 1970 at the age of thirty four. (OneRoom)