Louise Bourgeois: Aller-Retour
Essays by Gerald Matt, Phillip Larrat-Smith and Peter Weiermeier.
Over the past intensely productive decade, Louise Bourgeois's drawings have been dominated by diary-like work in which text and sign often mix. This extensive compendium of that work and its antecedents shares a series design with her recent book of sculpture, and the dialogue between mediums is lively in both titles, which also share a determination to put Bourgeois's current work in the context of her oeuvre, not just her work in other mediums but her work of other eras. Long denied due recognition, Bourgeois became an avant-garde superstar late in life, and is today, at 94, considered "a great figure of the postmodern" (Peter Weiermair). Since the 1980s, her work has followed the prevalent notion of art that rejects universal style and formal understanding in favor of a personal approach. Her central concern lies in establishing an intense, open discussion on the dialectics of thoughts and feelings, on the internal conflict wrought by external relationships. Here, some 150 works are grouped thematically around motifs such as "rivers," "spiders" and "proverbs/aper¡us." A separate retrospective section of older works allows the rest of the book to shift toward the present, which is full of dark and dervish-like activity. Of her prominence, Bourgeois has said, "My luck was that I became famous so late that fame could not destroy me." On the contrary, readers will agree that fame--or is it time?--has invigorated and animated Bourgeois to an exceptional degree.