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Hang Up

Large sculpture of empty square frame with a connected steel tube looping outward.
© The Estate of Eva Hesse, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

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  • Large sculpture of empty square frame with a connected steel tube looping outward.




Eva Hesse
American, born Germany, 1936–1970

About this artwork

Eva Hesse produced an extraordinarily original, influential body of work in her short career, pioneering the use of eccentric materials and idiosyncratic sculptural forms. Hesse considered Hang Up among her most important works because it was the first to achieve the level of “absurdity or extreme feeling” she intended. Produced at the height of Minimalism and the Pop Art movement but belonging to neither, the piece was fabricated by her friend the artist Sol LeWitt, and her husband, Tom Doyle, who wrapped the wood stretcher with bed sheets and attached the cord-covered steel tubing. Sealed with acrylic, the object is subtly shaded from pale to dark ash gray. It is an ironic sculpture about painting, privileging the medium’s marginal features: the frame and its hanging device, represented by the cord that protrudes awkwardly into the gallery. The title might be understood as a humorous instruction for the sculpture’s display but also acts on a more psychological level. Collapsing the space between the viewer and the artwork, Hang Up creates a sense of disorientation and toys with our ability to discern a clear demarcation between painting and sculpture.


On View, Gallery 297


Contemporary Art


Eva Hesse


Hang Up


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Acrylic on cloth over wood; acrylic on cord over steel tube


182.9 × 213.4 × 198.1 cm (72 × 84 × 78 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gifts of Arthur Keating and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Morris

Reference Number



© The Estate of Eva Hesse, Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Extended information about this artwork

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