Louise Bourgeois: Autobiographical Series and 11 Drypoints
Louise Bourgeois: Autobiographical Series and 11 Drypoints • A Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London
Limerick City Gallery of Art is delighted to present the print work of the hugely influential French American artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010).
Best known for her powerful emotionally charged sculptures Bourgeois was also a prolific printmaker and draughtswoman. Most of her work dealt with strongly autobiographical themes, invoking her childhood emotions of loneliness, desire, anxiety and jealousy.
Her Autobiographical Series (1994) consists of 14 etchings illustrating some of her deepest thoughts and memories whilst the 11 Drypoints (all from 1999) brings her obsessions into more vivid focus. Recurrent themes, such as a woman giving birth, a cat, ladders, long hair, feet, clocks, scissors, bathtubs and a pregnant mosquito all contain references to her own life.
Louise Bourgeois began making prints in the 1930s and briefly ran a print shop in Paris before she emigrated to New York in 1930’s where she lived for the rest of her life. There she worked at S.W. Hayter’s print workshop and later bought a press so that she could work from home while raising her three children. Following her husband’s death in 1973, she taught printmaking at the School of Visual Arts.
Printmaking gave Bourgeois enormous flexibility as an artist allowing her to experiment and make changes to elements of her original drawings whilst amending others – something that she felt was not available to her in painting or sculpture. She said of printmaking that ‘the whole history of the creative process is there’.
After many years of focusing primarily on sculpture, Bourgeois returned to printmaking in the 1980s and continued to produce prints until her death in 2010. The two collections of works in this exhibition were made when she was in her eighties, after installing a small press in her own home.
Since she was honoured with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1982, Louise Bourgeois has been widely acclaimed as one of the most original artists of the late twentieth century and has exhibited at museums throughout the world, including at Tate Modern in 2007.
Hayward Touring organises contemporary art exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly funded venues throughout Britain. In collaboration with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions, Hayward Touring develops imaginative exhibitions that are seen by up to half a million people in over 45 cities and towns each year.
The catalogue Louise Bourgeois Autobiographical Prints, 2016, with essay by Juliet Mitchell, will be available for sale for €10 at LCGA