Duncan Hewitt – The Materials

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Publication Title

Maine Arts Jurnal


Around 1990, I was at the Hartford Atheneum where there was an iconic Eva Hesse sculpture, a grid consisting of small rubber washers resting on a platform about one foot high and three by three feet. For a moment, I am alone with the work. Then a young person enters the space, sees the work and jumps up on the piece, prancing. “Ok, you have to get off this now” (as I look for a museum guard). Hesse was a person who found new materials and worked them sensually during a time when the materials being used were generally clean and hard edged and left as is. Soft washers repeated until a pattern—a field—is felt. It is almost funny, not an unfamiliar play on hard and soft, but still a peculiarly beautiful object and felt space. Back to the jumper.


Professor of Sculpture, Emeritus

Faculty Bio