Collection 1950s–1970s


Breaking the Mold

Fall 2019–Fall 2020


Eva Hesse. Repetition Nineteen III. 1968. Fiberglass and polyester resin, 19 units, each 19 to 20 1/4" (48 to 51 cm) × 11 to 12 3/4" (27.8 to 32.2 cm) in diameter. Gift of Charles and Anita Blatt. © 2019 Estate of Eva Hesse. Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
  • MoMA, Floor 4, 413 The David Geffen Wing

Searching for a new creative vocabulary, the artists in this gallery used simplified forms and unconventional materials. They tended to reject metaphor and personal expression in favor of an emphasis on process and spatial relationships. Attracted by standardized industrial products—fluorescent lights, concrete, and fiberglass—many of these artists explored fabrication away from the studio, shifting the focus from individual authorship to collaboration. Through the use of casts, repetitive physical actions, and a preference for human scale, others incorporated the body itself as a tool. Whether by using gravity and light to engage a viewer’s physical presence or by suggesting anthropomorphic associations through the use of organic materials, the works in this gallery reflect a broader desire for a direct connection with the viewer.

Organized by Yasmil Raymond, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, with Ana Torok, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints.

19 works online


Installation images

How we identified these works

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