Louise Bourgeois: The Locus of Memory, Works 1982-1993
- Dates: April 27, 1994 through July 31, 1994
- Collections: Contemporary Art
January 1994: A major traveling exhibition of sculpture and works on paper by Louise Bourgeois, the first in an American museum in more than 10 years, will be on view at The Brooklyn Museum April 22 through July 31, 1994. Louise Bourgeois: Locus of Memory, Works 1982-1993 will include approximately 25 sculptures. Among them are 12 of the 13 works that appeared in the critically praised exhibition of the artist’s work that represented the United States at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993 for which she received an Honorable Mention. Also included in this new exhibition will be works on paper, many of them never before on public view. Louise Bourgeois: Locus of Memory, Works 1982-1993 was organized by The Brooklyn Museum in association with The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
The exhibition is sponsored by Philip Morris Companies Inc.
Additional support was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Maureen and Marshall Cogan and the ‘21’ International Holding, Inc. Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Among the sculptures included in the exhibition that were not on view in the Venice Biennale are Femme Maison (1983), crafted in marble; Untitled (With Foot) (1989), a sphere carved of pink marble under which a portion of a leg and foot emerge; and Gathering Wool (1990), a monumental work of metal and wood. The drawings have been executed in a variety of media, among them watercolor, charcoal, pencil, ink, oil, gouache, and orange peel. Also included in this portion of the exhibition is Hold Up (1989), composed of a suspender sewn on peach paper.
The period covered by this exhibition has been one of unprecedented accomplishment, during which Louise Bourgeois has executed some of her most challenging and monumental work. The sculptures she has created since her first major retrospective in 1982 are a culmination of forms and ideas she has pursued throughout her career. They address universal themes that have long obsessed her— anxiety, alienation, love, identity, sex, and death. As with the selection process for the Venice Biennale, the works chosen represent the full range of media, techniques, and thematic content from the past decade.
“Louise Bourgeois is endlessly resourceful. In the universe of her creation, the feeling of loneliness can be turned into celebration, humiliation into victory, and despair into assurance. Any material can offer the desired contribution, because the artist has rejected hierarchies of worth. Pretense in any form is dissolved as the artist delves deeper and deeper into her own psyche. Her courage to share with us her anxieties and obsessions has produced a body of bold and monumental work unique in the history of sculpture,” states Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brooklyn Museum, who has organized this exhibition as well as that at the Venice Biennale.
Born in France on Christmas Day 1911, Louise Bourgeois learned to draw as a child while working in her parents’ tapestry restoration studios in the Paris suburbs. She received her artistic training in Paris and studied at the Sorbonne, where a course in geometry directed her toward sculpture, and later in the United States, where she emigrated in 1938. She has mastered techniques such as carving, assembling, modeling, and casting, using a wide range of materials, among them wood, latex, plaster, bronze, marble, and found objects.
A witness to the vital art movements of the century on two continents, Louise Bourgeois has remained fiercely independent, never aligning herself with any particular school or trend. Intensely autobiographical, her work often draws upon traumatizing experiences, particularly those of her childhood and the profound influence of her philandering father.
Working in isolation through much of her career, all the while making up her own rules, Louise Bourgeois received little recognition until the 1970s, when her work began to be exhibited with increasing frequency, culminating in the 1982 retrospective surveying four decades of her work at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. After this exhibition, her creativity surged and she went on to produce many large-scale sculptures and installations.
The exhibition at the 45th Venice Biennale, of which Louise Bourgeois: Locus of Memory Works[,] 1982-1993 is an expanded version, was a project of the Fund for U.S. Artist[s] at International Festivals and Exhibitions, a public/private partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States Information Agency, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Philip Morris Companies Inc. was the corporate sponsor of the United States Pavilion and also of the touring exhibition. Since the program’s inception in 1958, Philip Morris has supported a broad spectrum of cultural programs that reflect the same spirit of innovation and creativity as demonstrated by its corporate leadership. International in scope, and focused on contemporary and multi-cultural visual and performing arts, Philip Morris’ support of the arts has grown into one of the most comprehensive corporate cultural programs in the world.
April 1994: The art and career of artist Louise Bourgeois will be explored in a daylong symposium and artists panel on Saturday, May 7, at The Brooklyn Museum. Louise Bourgeois: A Symposium and Panel Discussion will bring together renowned artists, scholars, and curators to discuss issues of identity, sexuality, anxiety, and gender as they relate to Bourgeois’s work. Excerpts from a film on the artist will also be shown. The symposium has been organized in conjunction with the exhibition, Louise Bourgeois: The Locus of Memory, Works 1982-1993, which opens on April 22. It is the first major exhibition of sculpture and works on paper by Louise Bourgeois in over 10 years and includes many of the works that appeared in the critically praised exhibition of Bourgeois’s art that represented the United States in the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993.
After opening remarks by Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brooklyn Museum and the Exhibition Curator, Amei Wallach, Art Critic, Newsday, will present “Louise Bourgeois and the Pursuit of Happiness”; Deborah Wye, Curator, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, The Museum of Modern Art, will present “A Drama of the Self: The Prints of Louise Bourgeois”; and Mignon Nixon, Ph.D. Candidate, City University of New York-The Graduate Center, will present “Playing with Anxiety: Eating Daddy and Other Solutions.” After a lunch break and a viewing of the exhibition, artist[s] Lynda Benglis, Robert Gober, Martin Puryear, and Nancy Spero will discuss Bourgeois and her influence on their work. Charlotta Kotik will moderate the discussion. At 3:30 there will be a screening of excerpts from “Conversations with Louise Bourgeois,” introduced by the filmmaker Marion Cajori. A reception will follow the program.
Louise Bourgeois: A Symposium and Panel Discussion will take place in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd floor. Tickets are $20 for nonmembers and $10 for members, older adults, and students. A buffet luncheon is available for $13 and must be ordered by April 29. Please call (718) 638-5000, extension 230, to receive a registration form.
- Review/Art; Dream Images of Mother and HomeApril 29, 1994 By HOLLAND COTTER"The sculpture produced by Louise Bourgeois, now 83, during the last decade is some of the best of her career; it is also some of the most audacious done by anyone during that time. The exhibition titled "Louise Bourgeois: Locus of Memory, Works 1982-1993" at the Brooklyn Museum is the first chance many New Yorkers will have to see a representative..."