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Hannah Wilke, Atlantic City Boardwalk, 1975


At first they look like melted fortune cookies or wads of gum. But study them a bit longer and it’s clear we’re in a distinct territory, the “down there” evoked in the art of Georgia O’Keeffe and Judy Chicago. Hannah Wilke’s delicate interations of labial folds, made of kneaded erasers, are keyholes to the universe, an invocation of infinity. Eva Hesse focuses more on breast-like shapes, drawn and sculpted, milk and honey. Made between 1965 and 1977, the 23 elegant abstractions of these two artists share a feminist and post-Minimalist approach that is foundational. —L.J.