Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) will be presented in a new exhibition at Mima from 18 July to 12 October 2014. mima is the first associate partner to display this new ARTIST ROOMS exhibition.
Highlighting her late work, the exhibition contains an outstanding collection of pieces assembled for the national ARTIST ROOMS programme, including, Couple I 1996, Cell XIV (Portrait) 2000, Eyes 2001-2005, and three late masterpieces, 10 AM IS WHEN I COME TO YOU 2006, the cycle of 16 monumental drawings A L’Infini 2008- 2009 and one of Bourgeois’ final works, Untitled 2010.
Louise Bourgeois was named as one of the Top 10 most subversive women artists in history by The Guardian and has influenced many of today’s artists such as Jenny Holzer and Tracey Emin. Her work is often seen in the context of Surrealism, and she has been cited as “The last great surrealist” (Jonathan Jones, The Guardian).
Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) was born in France and studied with Fernand Léger in Paris during the 1930s. She moved to New York in 1938, following her marriage to Robert Goldwater, an art historian, who died in 1973.
Despite the deeply personal references to her own life in her work, as well as to a range of art historical movements, Bourgeois’s unique visual language ultimately reaches beyond both, raising universal questions about life and art. In particular, ideas of womanhood and its various guises, including the roles of daughter, wife, mother and lover, are explored through a vocabulary of recurring motifs: spiders, spirals, the ‘arch of hysteria’, double forms and entwined fabric bodies. The materials Bourgeois chose to use, including traditional bronze and marble, as well as fabrics, rubber and found objects, were an essential part of her practice, often employed radically to highlight the interplay between opposites such as male and female, father and mother, soft and hard, exterior and interior, fear and calm, and vulnerability and strength.
It was not until 1982 that Bourgeois began to receive wider public attention. That year, the Museum of Modern Art in New York gave her a Retrospective, their first for a woman artist, and subsequently, major exhibitions of her work were organized in Europe. Bourgeois was also the first artist to be commissioned by Tate, for the inauguration of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. In 2007, Tate, in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, organized a travelling Retrospective of her work.
This exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Jerry Gorovoy of the artist’s The Easton Foundation, which has very generously lent a number of major sculptural works including Spiral Woman 1984 and Spider 1994, and the Louise Bourgeois Studio. The works on display are also taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and The National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d’Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund. The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its sixth year, is showing at 18 museums and galleries across the UK in 2014. The tour is made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England and the Art Fund.
Photo: Louise Bourgeois in 1980. Image by Mark Setteducati, © The Easton Foundation
Louise Bourgeois Late Works Mima 18 July to 12 October 2014