LOS ANGELES.- The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), presents the first major travelling survey of the work of pioneering artist Louise Bourgeois (b. 1911) in more than two decades. Louise Bourgeois is organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou and curated by Frances Morris, head of collections, Tate Modern; Marie-Laure Bernadac, chief curator of contemporary art, Louvre; and Jonas Storsve, curator, Musée national dart moderne, Cabinet dart graphique, Centre Pompidou. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, is the fourth venue of an ambitious international tour that includes Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
MOCAs presentation, which is organized by MOCA Curator of Architecture and Design Brooke Hodge, includes a number of significant works from Los Angeles collections that will not be seen elsewhere. Also exclusive to the three U.S. presentations will be at least one new work completed in the last few months by Bourgeois, who at 96 continues to make art almost daily. Louise Bourgeois is on view at MOCA Grand Avenue from October 26, 2008 through January 25, 2009.
I am honored and thrilled to present this landmark showcase of Louise Bourgeoiss work at MOCA, said MOCA Director and Bourgeois scholar Jeremy Strick. Louise is an important artist who has created an enormous body of work that engages with most of the major international avant-garde artistic movements of the 20th centuryfrom surrealism and primitivism to conceptual art and assemblage. And yet, she has always maintained her identity as an independent artist, positioned at the forefront of contemporary art practice, giving great inspiration to many others.
Louise Bourgeoiss long and distinguished career has engaged both modern and traditional techniques, exploring various themes in a range of styles, from abstraction to the ready-made. With over 150 works dating between 1938 and 2008, the exhibition includes the artists earliest paintings and works on paper; sculptures made in a variety of materials, including wood, steel, plaster, latex, marble, and bronze; large-scale installations from the 1980s and 90s; a broad selection of drawings and prints from throughout her career; small-scale hand-made objects; and her most recent works, which utilize fabric. This unique, must-see presentation also reunites many of Bourgeoiss most well-known pieces, including The Blind Leading the Blind (194749), Fillette (Sweeter Version) (196899), and a number of her powerful Cell installations, such as Cell (Choisy) (199093), Cell (Youd Better Grow Up) (1993), Red Room (Child) (1994), Red Room (Parents) (1994), and Spider (1997). Louise Bourgeois is an opportunity to discover the artists most important works and explore the core themes that unite them across media.
Bourgeois has said that her childhood, which was rich with both craft and symbolism, is the source all of her artwork and its themes. Born to a family of weavers, Bourgeois spent her early years surrounded by fabrics and textiles, as she played an active role in her familys business of repairing and restoring tapestries. Sewing needles signified restoration for Bourgeois, as she witnessed her mothers constant efforts at conservation and repair; hence, a number of the artists large-scale sculptures take the form of needles, evoking both the psychological and physical symbolism of the device and its magic power. The spider, itself a weaver and repairer, is another highly charged figure that appears frequently in Bourgeoiss work. Other themes favored by Bourgeois include maternity, the couple, childhood, the body, sexuality, gender, and autobiography.
Born in Paris in 1911, Louise Bourgeois studied under a variety of artists during the 1930s, including the cubist painter and sculptor Fernand Léger. In 1938, she moved to New York, where she continues to live and work to this day. Bourgeoiss 1982 solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York was the museums first-ever retrospective of a female artist. Bourgeois has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries worldwide, and her work is in major public and private collections throughout the world.