Exhibitions: Louise Bourgeois

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    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
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    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
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    Luce Center for American Art

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    On View: Bowl with Beveled Internal Rim

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    Louise Bourgeois

    Press Releases ?
    • August 1992: An exhibition of fifteen works by Louise Bourgeois has been selected to represent the United States at the 1993 Venice Biennale in a competition jointly sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Information Agency. The Venice Biennale will take place June 6 through October 3, 1993, with press previews on June 2, 3, and 4.

      The exhibition, to be organized by Charlotta Kotik, Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brooklyn Museum, will survey the work of Louise Bourgeois completed since her 1982 retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. An expanded version of the Biennale exhibition is scheduled to be on view at The Brooklyn Museum in the spring of 1994, the first in an American museum since the MoMA exhibition. After this it will travel to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., to two additional United States venues currently being arranged, and finally to Europe.

      Ms. Bourgeois will create two site-specific installation pieces for the 1993 Venice Biennale, as well as for subsequent venues. The core exhibition, to be displayed at the American Pavilion in Venice, will include works in various media and sizes, including large-scale environmental works and rarely shown marble pieces. Among them will be Gathering Wool, a 1990 work of metal and wood that measures 96 x 156 x 180 inches, which will be on view in the Rotunda at the pavilion; No Escape (1989), Cleavage (1991), Nature Study (1984 and 1986), and Ventouse (1990).

      “The recent sculptures by Louise Bourgeois are the culmination of her work during the previous four decades and are perhaps her greatest. The universal themes that have long obsessed Bourgeois—anxiety, alienation, love, identity, sex, and death—dovetail with, and illuminate, the contemporary issues of gender, sexuality, and the rights of freedom and individuality. This presentation of her work in an international forum will provide an important perspective on the contributions of this artist whose art has yielded prophetic insights for a generation of younger artists. As they will be shown as a group, these works will demonstrate the relationship of the pieces to one another, underscoring the monumentality and refinement of the artist’s achievement during this prolific period,” comments Ms. Kotik.

      Louise Bourgeois has never aligned herself with a particular artistic style, and her work defies categorization. Much of it is, however, informed by psychological conflicts from her childhood in France, where she was born in 1911. Her parents owned a gallery, which dealt primarily with tapestries, and by the age of 12 she worked for them drawing outlines on canvas to guide workers with repairs.

      She attended the Sorbonne, concentrating on mathematics and philosophy, after which she studied at various art schools and ateliers and also took courses in art history. In 1938 she moved to the United States after marrying an American, Robert Goldwater. She attended the Art Students League, became involved in printmaking, and exhibited for the first time in the United States at The Brooklyn Museum. Since the 1940s she has known and exhibited with the major figures in each succeeding generation of the American avant-garde, while remaining fiercely independent.

      In 1985 Charlotta Kotik was appointed Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brooklyn Museum, the first time that position has been filled since the 1930s. Under her aegis the permanent collection of contemporary art has significantly expanded. She has also instituted the Grand Lobby series of site-specific installations, among them works by Joseph Kosuth, Komar & Melamid, Martin Puryear, David Mach, and Jenny Holzer, and coordinated special exhibitions including Sigmar Polke, Gordon Matta-Clark: A Retrospective, and Czech Modernism: 1890-1945. A native of Czechoslovakia, where she received an M.A. in history and art history from Charles University in Prague, Ms. Kotik now makes her home in Brooklyn. Prior to joining The Brooklyn Museum, where she has recently been appointed Chair of the Department of Painting and Sculpture, she was a curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York.

      The official U.S. representation at the 1993 Venice Biennale is made possible, in part, through support from the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the United States Information Agency, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts, with administrative support from Arts International, a division of the Institute of International Education.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 07-12/1992, 138-141. View Original 1 . View Original 2 . View Original 3 . View Original 4

    • May 1993: Louise Bourgeois, an 81-year-old New York City artist, will be the only artist officially representing the United States at the 45th Venice Biennale, the prestigious international contemporary art exhibition, with the presentation of 13 of her works completed between 1984 and 1993.

      The Venice Biennale, which will present the work of artists from more than 50 countries, will take place in Venice June 13 through October 10. It will be previewed for the press June 9 through 11. A press conference for the Louise Bourgeois exhibition is slated for Thursday, June 10, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the United States Pavilion in the Giardini in Venice.

      There is considerable speculation in the art world over whether or not the diminutive 81-year-old Paris-born Bourgeois will be in Venice for the opening week festivities, which culminate on Sunday, June 13 with the announcement [of] the coveted award for the best exhibition at the Venice Biennale.

      The exhibition of Ms. Bourgeois’s works, which will include several massive sculptures, is entitled Louise Bourgeois: Recent Work. It was organized by Charlotta Kotik, Chair of the Department of Painting and Sculpture and Curator of contemporary art at The Brooklyn Museum.

      Kotik, who authored the proposal for the exhibition which was selected in a competition jointly administered by the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Information Agency, will also organize an expanded version of the Louise Bourgeois exhibition which will be on view at The Brooklyn Museum April 22 through September 4, 1994, after which it will travel to the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D. C.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 01-06/1993, 054. View Original

    • June 1993: CHARLOTTA KOTIK OF THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM SERVES AS U.S. COMMISSIONER

      Louise Bourgeois: Recent Work
      , an exhibition of 9 sculptures and 4 installations completed by the artist between 1984 and 1993, has been selected to represent the United States at the 45th Venice Biennale. Four of the works have been created in Ms. Bourgeois’s Brooklyn studio over the course of the past several months specifically for the Biennale where they will be seen publicly for the first time.

      The exhibition was selected in a competitive process jointly administered by the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Information Agency, based on a proposal by Charlotta Kotik of The Brooklyn Museum, who will serve as United States Commissioner at the Biennale. Ms. Kotik, Chair of the Department of Painting and Sculpture and Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum, has organized the Biennale exhibition, which will be expanded into a major traveling show on view at The Brooklyn Museum April 22 through September 4, 1994, and at The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., in the fall of 1994.

      Now in her early 80s, Louise Bourgeois has had a career that spans more than five decades. Born in France, she has lived in New York since 1938 and received artistic training in both countries. Her deeply autobiographical work in a variety of media and styles has always defied classification, but has reflected these two continents and cultures. During the course of her career she has mastered numerous techniques such as carving, assembling, modeling, and casting, using materials as varied as wood, plaster, latex, bronze, marble, and an array of found objects.

      The period covered by this exhibition was one of unprecedented accomplishment during which Louise Bourgeois executed some of her most challenging and monumental work. The sculptures that she has created since her first major retrospective in 1982 have been 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.

      The pieces selected for the Biennale bring together for the first time Bourgeois’s full range of media, techniques, and thematic content from the past decade. Included are a marble and steel work, Nature Study (Velvet Eyes) (1984); a white marble piece, The Sail (1988); and Cell (Arch of Hysteria) (1992-93), a monumental work constructed of steel, bronze, cast iron[,] and fabric.

      “The recent work of Louise Bourgeois, created during one of the most prolific periods of her long and distinguished career will challenge, fascinate, and inspire those who visit the United States Pavilion at the 45th Venice Biennale. We at The Brooklyn Museum are delighted to have played a role in this effort,” states Robert T. Buck, Director.

      Charlotta Kotik comments, “Although Bourgeois’s presence has been felt in the art world for more than half a century, she has remained outside of its mainstream and ahead of her time, fiercely independent, avidly feminist, and singularly visionary. She is now considered one of our most important living artists, whose legacy is central to our understanding of art at the end of the millennium.”

      The official U.S. participation in the 45th Venice Biennale has been made possible in part by the FUND FOR U.S. ARTISTS 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, with administrative support from Arts International, a division of the Institute of International Education.

      Philip Morris Companies Inc. is the corporate sponsor of the United States Pavilion and also of the touring exhibition. In 1986 Philip Morris was the first corporation to participate in the Biennale as sponsor of the United States Pavilion.

      The Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions provided curatorial guidance to the Fund Partners in selecting the Commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion and the artist representing the United States. The official U.S. exhibition at the 45th Venice Biennale is managed by the Arts America Office of the U.S. Information Agency in cooperation with the U. S. Embassy, Rome, The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, and the International Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, D.C.

      Philip Morris Companies Inc. celebrates its 35th anniversary in support of the arts in 1993. 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 cultural programs in the world.

      The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 01-06/1993, 055-58. View Original 1 . View Original 2 . View Original 3 . View Original 4

    • June 1993: An exhibition organized by The Brooklyn Museum, consisting of 13 works created by New York artist Louise Bourgeois between 1984 and 1993, was awarded an honorable mention by the jury of the 45th Venice Biennale at an awards ceremony in Venice on Sunday, June 13, 1993. The exhibition entitled Louise Bourgeois: Recent Work was selected to represent the United States in a competitive process jointly administered by the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Information Agency.

      The award was accepted on behalf of the 81-year-old New York artist, who was unable to attend the ceremonies in Venice, by Charlotta Kotik of The Brooklyn Museum, who served as United States Commissioner for the Biennale, and who organized the exhibition of Miss Bourgeois’s works in Venice.

      “It is a great privilege for The Brooklyn Museum to have had the opportunity to present this exhibition of 13 extraordinary pieces created by this remarkable and unique artist to an international audience at the 45th Venice Biennale. The Museum is pleased to have had a role in seeing that this important work will have the acclaim and audience it so richly deserves,” comments Robert T. Buck, Director of The Brooklyn Museum.

      More than 50 countries are represented in the 1993 Venice Biennale, considered one of the most prestigious art exhibitions in the world. The exhibitions, which were officially opened to the public following the awards ceremony, will remain on view in Venice through October 10, 1993.

      The members of the 45th Venice Biennale Jury are Giovanni Caradente, Julia Kristeva, Steingrim Laursen, Nicholas Serota, and Katharina Schmidt, who served as president of the distinguished panel. Among the other distinctions accorded by the Jury was the International Prize for Painting shared by Richard Hamilton and Antoni Tapies; the International Prize for sculpture to Robert Wilson; the Prize of the Countries to the German Pavilion and artists Hans Haacke and Nam June Paik; and Prize 2000 to Matthew Barney. Ilya Kabakov, Joseph Kosuth, and Jean Pierre Raynaud also received Honorable Mentions.

      The Louise Bourgeois exhibition, organized by Ms. Kotik, Chair of the Department of Painting and Sculpture and Curator of Contemporary Art at The Brooklyn Museum, comprises 9 sculptures and 4 installations. Four of the works on view in Venice were created especially for the Biennale by the artist over the course of the past year in her studio in Brooklyn.

      An expanded version of the exhibition, now on view in Venice, will be presented at The Brooklyn Museum April 22 through September 4, 1994. The first major museum exhibition of the artist’s work in more than 10 years, it will travel to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. as well as to other venues in the United States and Europe to be announced. Philip Morris is the corporate sponsor of the touring exhibition.

      Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. She studied briefly at the Sorbonne and later, after deciding to pursue an artistic career, studied painting in Paris at various art schools. In 1938 she married Robert Goldwater, an American art historian, and moved to New York City, where she continued her art studies. Her work is included in numerous public and private collections and has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums, including a major retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1982. The exhibition at the 45th Venice Biennale represents her work since the MoMA exhibition. Currently she is working on two sculpture commissions, one for the city of Chicago and one for Choisy-le-Roi, a Paris suburb where she lived as a child. She continues to live in Manhattan and to work in her Brooklyn studio with the help of her assistant and friend, Jerry Gorovoy.

      The official U.S. participation in the 45th Venice Biennale has been made possible in part by the FUND FOR U.S. ARTISTS 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, with administrative support from Arts International, a division of the Institute of International Education.

      Philip Morris Companies Inc. is the corporate sponsor of the United States Pavilion. In 1986 Philip Morris was the first corporation to participate in the Biennale as sponsor of the United States Pavilion.

      The Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions provided curatorial guidance to the Fund Partners in selecting the Commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion and the artist representing the United States. The official U.S. exhibition at the 45th Venice Biennale is managed by the Arts America Office of the U.S. Information Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy, Rome, The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, and the International Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, D.C.

      Philip Morris Companies Inc. celebrates its 35th anniversary in support of the arts in 1993. 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’s support of the arts has grown into one of the most comprehensive cultural programs in the world.

      The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1989 - 1994. 01-06/1993, 059-62. View Original 1 . View Original 2 . View Original 3 . View Original 4

    Press Coverage of this Exhibition ?

    • The Venice Biennale: An Art Bazaar AbuzzJune 12, 1993 By CAROL VOGEL,"The 45th Venice Biennale may have its formal opening on Sunday, but for the last five days there have been more artists and dealers, museum curators, collectors and journalists milling around this sweltering city than pigeons on the Piazza San Marco. It's like a giant convention that just happens to be about art, with curators negotiating loans in..."
    • VENICE BIENNALE; Home-Team RecognitionJuly 11, 1993 "To the Editor: Michael Kimmelman's "Death in Venice (at the Biennale)" [ June 27 ] managed to make sense of this complex and often confusing international art exhibition. Not included in his article, however, is the fact that the collection of 13 works by the New York artist Louise Bourgeois, which represents the United States at the Biennale, was..."
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    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
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