Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait

Louise Bourgeois. Introduction: Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait. 1984

Femme Maison, 1984. Photgravure, with chine collé. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the artist, 1993. © 2017 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY. 465.1993

Curator, Deborah Wye:My name is Deborah Wye. I’m the Chief Curator Emerita, of Prints and Illustrated Books, at the Museum of Modern Art, and, I’m the organizer of this exhibition, Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait. I met Louise Bourgeois in 1976, when she was 65 years old. I studied her art—and was her friend—for over 30 years.

Bourgeois’ art was based on her emotional struggles. She was plagued by dark moods, by jealousy and anger. She also suffered from feelings of isolation and loneliness. She called her art, her tool of survival—and her guarantee of sanity. By making a work of art, she could release her feelings, make them tangible, and help understand them.

While she is known primarily as a sculptor, Bourgeois also made a vast body of prints—over a thousand, different compositions. She also made illustrated books, using her own, very imaginative writings as texts. She said that she saw no rivalry between the various mediums in which she worked. Rather, they gave her the chance to say similar things, but in different ways.

This exhibition aims to shed new light on Bourgeois’ artistic vision, and creative process. The works are arranged by themes and motifs that she came back to, again and again, across her career, which lasted for 70 years.

We invite you to explore the exhibition, to the left, as well as downstairs in the Atrium. Welcome.

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