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‘Embroidery constitutes the major part of Hessie’s practice, but her work - which has attracted renewed attention in recent years - embraces a broader scope than is at first apparent. Caribbean-born, and based in France since 1962, Hessie has developed her signature practice since the 1970s: seductive, rigorous compositions of abstract and geometric motifs in white or coloured cotton thread on unbleached cotton canvas. More rarely, her works feature stitched-on buttons, holes, or typewritten letters dispersed across the fabric support, together with collages of objects or materials on paper. Her repetitive techniques are the basis for a strict formal repertory, expressed in series of works with functional, descriptive titles: Grillages (grid forms), Bâtons pedagogiques (teaching sticks), Végêtation or Machines à écrire (typewriters). Paradoxically, this pared-down visual vocabulary gives rise to a subtle semantics of manifest intensity, expressed in magnificent works of varying sizes and formats, playing on delicate, sometimes almost imperceptible nuances of colour. Drawing on minimalism and the craft tradition, Hessie’s extraordinarily precise work is readily classifiable as ‘programmatic’. The exaltation of form through slow, serial repetition is achieved thanks to a kind of (paradoxically) liberating labour, as implied in the titles she has often given to her own work: Survival Art.’