Hanna Eshel: Painting & Sculpture 1960 to 1985

Patrick Parrish is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by Hanna Eshel, a prolific artist primarily known for her marble sculptures and dimensional paintings on burlap. A tenacious sculptor ahead of her time, Eshel remained out of the American public eye for three decades as she built a body of work. Drawing inspiration from art history and ancient civilizations, her works would become known for strong elemental forms, meticulous breaks and fissures as well as feminist imagery. Introducing an oeuvre of never before seen works as well as personal documents and photographs of Eshel in her home and studio, Hanna Eshel: Painting & Sculpture 1960 to 1985 illuminates the significance and overdue appreciation of Eshel and her studio practice.

(b.1926), an Israeli-born artist, immigrated to New York in 1978, bringing with her an entire body of work and 20,000 lbs. of Carrara marble, much of which had to be lifted by crane through a window of her sixth-floor NoHo loft. Eshel studied at the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem and went on to become a Lieutenant of Cartography during the 1948 War of Independence in the Israeli Air Force. After the war, she continued her studies in Paris at L'Academie de la Grande Chaumière and L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts where she was awarded the first prize in the Concours de France. In 1972, amidst a rising art career, Eshel decided to move to New York with plans for a two-month stop-over in Carrara, Italy in search of a “material with soul”. Her short stint ended up lasting six years as she became the only woman within a group of marble sculptors at Atelier Nicoli, through whom she met artists like Isamu Noguchi and Henry Moore. After arriving in New York, she found the art scene frustrating and lost the desire to promote her work. Deciding to take a step back from pursuing exhibitions, Eshel spent the next thirty years quietly and devotedly sculpting, painting, photographing and collaging inside her 3000 sq ft. NoHo loft.

2012 found Eshel in search of a roommate and, after posting an ad on Craigslist listing only a phone number with no address, photo, or email address, found a match with Quinn Luke, a musician and art consultant. Quinn quickly introduced her to Patrick Parrish, who was amazed to find a complete body of virtually untouched work in the artist’s studio, including hundreds of paintings still in the original shipping boxes from Paris. A flurry of media attention accompanied her first formal New York solo exhibition at Mondo Cane Gallery in 2013, including major stories in The New York Times, Introspective Magazine and Sight Unseen.

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