Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
A work of art requires no explanation. The work has to speak for itself. It may be the subject of many interpretations, though the artist only had one in mind. Some artists say it’s their responsibility to make the work understandable for the public, but I don’t agree with that. The only responsibility lies in being completely truthful to yourself. My work unsettles the viewer, but nobody wants to be alarmed. The public isn’t completely aware of the effect my work has on it. But it does know that it’s disturbed by it. Louise Bourgeois, quoted in Aller-Retour.
In materials as diverse as wood, steel, bronze, latex, marble, plaster, resin, hemp, lead, ink, pencil, crayon, woodcut, watercolor and gouache, Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) investigates every imaginable manifestation of the spiral, from graphic patterns to graphite whorls, wobbly orbits to chiseled vortices, twisted columns to coiling snakes, staircases and pyramids. The cursive blue-paper word drawings also included, in English and French, complement the purely visual works by conveying the spirit of Bourgeois’ writing in extraordinary pictorial forms. Bourgeois called the spiral “an attempt at controlling the chaos. It has two directions. Where do you place yourself, at the periphery or at the vortex?” In another context, she has also stated “I would dream of my father’s mistress. I would do it in my dreams by wringing her neck. The spiral—I love the spiral—represents control and freedom.”
Published by Glenstone Museum. Edited by Emily Wei Rales, Ali Nemerov. Introduction by Emily Wei Rales. Text by Briony Fer, Philip Larratt-Smith.
Celebrated for her singular contributions to 20th-century sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, installation and writing, French-born American artist Louise Bourgeois' (1911–2010) explorations of the human condition originated from her own lived experience. "My goal is to relive a past emotion," Bourgeois explained. "My art is an exorcism." Psychologically, emotionally and often sexually charged, Bourgeois' works intermingle the abstract and corporeal, the voluptuous and the distressing, to striking effect.
Louise Bourgeois: To Unravel a Torment accompanies the first exhibition of the artist's work at Glenstone Museum, and features more than 30 major works drawn from the museum's collection. From her early wooden Personages to her large hanging sculptures, from suites of drawings and prints to textile works and her immersive Cells, To Unravel a Torment surveys Bourgeois' career through selected examples from her enormous body of work.
Bourgeois was also a prolific writer, matching her sculptural language with reams of psychoanalytic musings on repression, symbolism and material. To Unravel a Torment also brings together never-before-published diary entries by the artist, annotated by Bourgeois scholar Philip Larratt-Smith, a contribution by art historian Briony Fer and an introduction by Emily Wei Rales, founder and director of Glenstone Museum.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York. By Deborah Wye.
Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait explores the prints and books of the celebrated sculptor. This little-known body of work is vast in scope—numbering some 1,200 individual compositions—and highly significant within her larger practice. These works encompass the same themes and motifs that occupied Bourgeois throughout her career, and they are explored here within the context of related sculptures, drawings and early paintings. This investigation sheds light on Bourgeois’ creative process overall, most vividly through the evolving print states and variants that led to her final compositions; seeing these sequences unfold is akin to looking over the artist’s shoulder as she worked.
Published in conjunction with an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, this catalog presents more than 270 prints and books, organized thematically, and includes an essay that traces Bourgeois’ involvement with these mediums within the broader developments of her life and career. It also emphasizes the collaborative relationships that were so fundamental to these endeavors. Included are interviews with Bourgeois’ longtime assistant, a printer she worked with side-by-side at her home/studio on 20th Street in New York and the publisher who, in the last decade of her life, encouraged her to experiment with innovative prints that broke the traditional boundaries of the medium. The volume is rounded out with a chronology and bibliography that focus on prints and illustrated books while also providing general background on Bourgeois’ life and art.
Born in Paris in 1911, Louise Bourgeois was raised by parents who ran a tapestry restoration business. She met Robert Goldwater, an American art historian, in Paris and they married and moved to New York in 1938. Early on, Bourgeois focused on painting and printmaking, turning to sculpture only in the later 1940s. In 1982, at 70 years old, Bourgeois finally took center stage with a retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art. She died in New York in 2010, at the age of 98.
Deborah Wye is Chief Curator Emerita of Prints and Illustrated Books at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Published by Forlaget Press. Foreword by Jan Andresen. Text by Svein Rønning, Mari Lending, Anne Karin Jortveit, Jeanette Sky.
This book documents a unique collaboration between the artist Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) and the architect Peter Zumthor (born 1973). The Steilneset Memorial, opened in 2011, is a monument in Vardø, Norway, commemorating the 17th-century trial and execution of 91 women for witchcraft. The brainchild of the National Tourist Routes project in Norway (a government-sponsored initiative which aims to attract visitors to remote but exceptionally beautiful locations), the Steilneset Memorial started out as a modest monument to honor the victims of the witchcraft trials, to be built on the site where the burnings originally took place. But the project, which would be Bourgeois’ last major work, grew in the hands of Zumthor and Bourgeois into two distinct, haunting structures.
Published by Hayward Gallery Publishing. Text by Juliet Mitchell.
Featuring two print series by one of the most influential artists of recent decades, Louise Bourgeois: Autobiographical Prints presents highly personal, dreamlike expressions of this formidable figure. A prolific printmaker, Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) created the Autobiographical series in 1994, capturing her deepest thoughts and memories. The accompanying collection of 11 Drypoints, which were created in 1999, offers a more abstract perspective, using motifs and themes to conjure representations of her past. Intriguing and highly immersive, both sets of prints open a window into the mind of the artist. All of the prints are reproduced with arresting clarity, accompanied by a text exploring the prints in the context of Bourgeois’ psychological biography, by celebrated psychoanalyst Juliet Mitchell. These works from the end of the artist’s life are a crucial expression of her vulnerability, and an exploration of the themes that form the crux of her practice: memory, childhood trauma and sexuality.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Louise Bourgeois.
Louise Bourgeois' tapestry and needlepoint work deals with reparation in both a literal and metaphorical sense. In many of the works, fragmented tapestries are pieced together and repaired to create new sculptural forms. The recurring practices of weaving, stitching and mending express Bourgeois' identification with her childhood and the family business of tapestry restoration. Coupled with the medium of tapestry, Bourgeois' recurring motif of the spider symbolizes her mother, a weaver, and fully explores the complex relationship between mother and child. This publication includes archival photographs and facsimile documents from the Bourgeois family archive, as well as excerpts from the artist's psychoanalytical writings.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Preface by Daniel Birnbaum, Ann-Sofi Noring. Text by Iris Müller-Westermann, Lea Vuong. Interview by Christiane Meyer-Toss.
Anyone who has stood underneath one of Louise Bourgeois' Mamans—her sculptures of spiders, symbolizing maternal protection—understands the singularity of her artistic approach. Stylistically, her pioneering body of work is complex: she deployed a wide variety of materials and practices—drawings, etchings, installations, works made of fabric, sculptures in wood, marble, bronze, latex, plaster and hemp—to address universal questions. This extensive monograph provides an overview of Bourgeois' artistic development, and presents a large number of works, including some that have never before been reproduced. The volume is grouped into themes that characterize her oeuvre, including memory, trauma, relationships, sexuality, fear and the difficulties of being an artist and mother at the same time. Personal photographs further document the artist's childhood and family life, with several letters and documents being made available for the first time. Born in Paris, where she studied with Fernand Léger, Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) moved to New York in 1938, where her first solo exhibition was held at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery in 1945. She quickly developed a sculptural vocabulary that drew inventively and equally on Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism and psychoanalysis. Bourgeois had her first retrospective in 1982, at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. She died in May 2010.
Published by Faurschou Foundation. Edited by Janna Lund, Wendy Williams, Maggie Wright. Foreword by Luise Faurschou, Jens Faurschou. Text by Zhu Qi, Maya Kóvskaya.
Alone and Together accompanies two retrospective exhibitions on Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) curated by her personal assistant and friend, Jerry Gorovoy. As the title of this publication--taken from Bourgeois’ gouache diptych of the same name--indicates, the artist’s lifelong creative and personal trajectory was determined by the need to, as Gorovoy puts it, "alleviate a core experience of abandonment." Her works take their point of departure from her most meaningful relationships--parents, children and partners--and thus focus on abiding themes of birth, childhood, family and motherhood, the rejections of lovers and other abandonments. Produced over seven decades, the works in this publication demonstrate Bourgeois’ broad use of materials and scale: from her hanging aluminum sculptures and "cell" installations to her iconic spider sculptures and series of feathery gouache diptychs on paper.
PUBLISHER Faurschou Foundation
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 9 x 9.5 in. / 151 pgs / 70 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 2/28/2014 Out of stock indefinitely
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2014 p. 128
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9788791706011TRADE List Price: $40.00 CDN $54.00
Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine is a mesmerizing cinematic journey inside the world of the modern art legend and feminist icon. As an artist, Louise Bourgeois always worked on her own vigorously inventive and disquieting terms. In 1982, at the age of 71, she became the first woman honored with a major retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art. She went on to create her most powerful and persuasive work--the massive spider sculptures that have since been exhibited all over the world. As a screen presence, Bourgeois is magnetic, mercurial and emotionally raw. Filmed with unparalleled access between 1993 and 2007, this documentary delicately sheds light on the ways in which her childhood traumas and memories became embodied in objects and installations. An intimate and human engagement with an artist’s world, this documentary is a comprehensive and dramatic work of creativity and revelation.
PUBLISHER Zeitgeist Films
BOOK FORMAT DVD (NTSC), 5 x 7 in.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 7/31/2012 Out of stock indefinitely
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2012 p. 113
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781935202417TRADE List Price: $29.99 CDN $40.00
Louise Bourgeois' drawings for the La Fabrica Matador series of Artist Portfolios, originally produced in 1999, are executed on music notation paper using red, blue and black ballpoint pens. In a short statement written for the portfolio, Bourgeois writes: "At first there is terrific tension. Then slowly line, shape, space and color, like notes on a score, begin to form a rhythm."
Published by Violette Editions. Edited by Philip Larratt-Smith. Text by Louise Bourgeois, Elisabeth Bronfen, Donald Kuspit, Juliet Mitchell, Mignon Nixon, Paul Verhaeghe with Julie de Ganck, Meg Harris Williams.
Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) invented a new kind of language for sculpture--a language that was essentially psychoanalytic, uniquely capable of expressing oedipal struggle, ominous forces of repression, sexual symbolism and material uncanniness. Famed for some of the twentieth century’s most enduring works, such as “The Destruction of the Father” (1974), “Arch of Hysteria” (1993) and “Maman” (1999), Bourgeois also disseminated her influence through her writings, collected in the 1998 volume Destruction of the Father/Reconstruction of the Father: Writings 1927–1997--originally published by Robert Violette, also the publisher of this new deluxe writings-cum-monograph two-volume set. Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed highlights the enduring presence of psychoanalysis as a motivational force and a site of exploration in the artist’s life and work. Selected and edited by Philip Larratt-Smith (Bourgeois’ literary archivist), and contextualized with eight extensive scholarly essays, this collection of approximately 80 previously unpublished writings spans some six decades of the artist’s production. The second volume in this gorgeous slipcased set is an impressive, up-to-date Bourgeois monograph that details works made right up until the artist’s death in 2010. Together, the two volumes comprise the most complete portrait of the life, work and thought of this seminal figure.
BOOK FORMAT Slip, Hardcover, 2 vols., 7.5 x 10 in. / 500 pgs / 113 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 5/31/2012 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2012 p. 14
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781900828376TRADE List Price: $45.00 CDN $60.00
AVAILABILITY In stock
in stock $45.00
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR CONSUMER ONLINE ORDERS
The recently deceased French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was one of the most important artists of the last century. Her fleshy blobs, skeletal spiders and the aggressive fragility of her work offered a new solution to the antagonism between the figurative and the abstract that had previously been part and parcel of modernism. Bourgeois herself provided a unique interpretive level to modern art through the uses she made of childhood trauma, family life and sexuality. This accessible study serves as both an ideal introduction to the central themes of the late artist’s oeuvre and as a commemoration of her one-hundredth birthday. Over the course of nine chapters, it examines her life, her exploration of the works of other artists and the transformation of her emotions into such works of art as the now iconic pieces “Destruction of the Father,” “Fillette,” “Cells” and “Maman.”
Originally published in a large-format limited edition of seven copies, To Whom It May Concern pairs Louise Bourgeois' luminous male and female torsos with Gary Indiana's prose poems, in a meditation on physicality, sexuality and relationships. Violette's publication reproduces this artist's book--one of the last projects Bourgeois completed before her death in 2010--in a reduced, collectable format. Bourgeois' headless bodies, printed en face in erotic stand-off, represent male and female at their essential: swollen bellies, heavy breasts and engorged phalluses, all rendered in rich pinks, purples, reds and blues. Indiana's short, visceral but lyrical texts are interspersed throughout in an electric blue typewriter font, conversing with these images through an unconventional non-narrative on the limits of flesh, desire and intimacy. Simple and elegant in design, and exquisitely printed, To Whom It May Concern throbs with stripped-down eroticism and the sensualities of image and language juxtaposed.
BOOK FORMAT Clth, 9 x 12.75 in. / 76 pgs / 24 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 10/31/2011 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2012 p. 101
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781900828369TRADE List Price: $75.00 CDN $99.00
AVAILABILITY In stock
in stock $75.00
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A groundbreaking work, edited by Germano Celant in collaboration with the artist and her New York studio, which enriches our knowledge of Louise Bourgeois. Over a long career she worked through most of the twentieth century's avant-garde artistic movements from abstraction to realism, yet always remained uniquely individual, powerfully inventive, and often at the forefront of contemporary art. She was one of the world’s most respected sculptors, best known for her public-space pieces, grand-scale sculptures of spiders so large they must rest outside. But beginning in the 1960s, she used her own clothing and that of her loved ones as components of her sculptures and designs: a reincarnation of her childhood and her past. Her art would expand into new realms in 2002 when she began to weave together scraps of iridescent-colored fabric, creating works that vary from figures of flowers to chromatic abstractions, constituting a repertoire of truly surprising interweaves. This set of images is collected here in its entirety for the first time, constituting the closest thing yet to a general catalog.
Germano Celant, PhD in contemporary art and theory, is the author of more than 100 publications. He is also the curator of hundreds of exhibitions in the most prominent international museums and institutions.
Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited by Lionel Bovier, Hans Ulrich Obrist.
My goal is to re-experience a past emotion...to relive anxiety…anxiety is a passive state, and the object is to be active and take control, stated Louise Bourgeois about her practice, which spanned more than 60 years and a variety of media. This beautifully produced, limited-edition book is a rare glimpse at over 40 of Bourgeois’ works, mostly drawings from a private Swiss collection, which are richly reproduced and juxtaposed with excerpts from her journal. The diary entries highlight Bourgeois’ method of mining her past as part of her practice, but the work itself draws heavily from an impressive breadth of historical and contemporary art. These works, produced from 1939 to 2002, also provide a new look at the evolution of one of this century’s most important artists--who has stopped being innovative and inspiring to her peers. Her defiance in the face of all of twentieth-century art movements is legendary.
Published by Actes Sud. Edited and text by Mâkhi Xenakis.
Reviewing Louise Bourgeois' monumental 2007-2008 traveling retrospective during its stop at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, The New York Times' Holland Cotter wrote, for Bourgeois, "art is not a job; it is a life. It is what you do when you get up in the morning, and what you continue to do all day, through headaches and phone calls, breakups and breakdowns, silences and celebrations. It is what you keep doing after dark, and when you can't sleep at night... She is an art-world presence, a personality and a loquacious one, ever ready to share her history." This volume, an absolute treasure put together by the French artist Mâkhi Xenakis, takes the reader back to Bourgeois' childhood haunts. It includes documentary and family photographs from the artist's youth, as well as reproductions of artworks that are traced to specific times and places during her life. Short texts accompany each image and Bourgeois' comments and explanations run throughout.
Published by Verlag für moderne Kunst. 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.
Published by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers. Essay by Thomas Kellein. Text by Louise Bourgeois.
The fear of being born into the world an unwanted girl; the fear of becoming a pawn in the lives of her parents; the fear of failing as a wife, mother and artist: Over the course of her 70 years as an artist, Louise Bourgeois, born in 1911 in Paris, has always placed the psychology of family at the center of her work. Bourgeois left her homeland in 1938, without a degree, to live in New York with her husband, Robert Goldwater, a curator at The Museum of Modern Art. In 1940, the couple adopted their first son, and in 1941 Bourgeois gave birth to two more boys. Her artistic oeuvre deals almost exclusively with the fear of not being able to live up to the roles she was born into and took on. Most of her early works consisted of paintings on the theme of family, many of which have rarely, if ever, been reproduced. When she first began sculpting, she portrayed children and family members as stakes fatefully stuck in the ground, "Personnages," with windows and openings, who occasionally carried small packages, but who seemed mute and paralyzed. Her later work grew more sexualized, and after the death of her husband, she pursued the paternal element intensely. This thematic gathering of 20 paintings, more than 60 drawings, 35 sculptures and 5 embroideries made between 1935 and 2005 is also, by virtue of the centrality of family to her oeuvre, an overarching retrospective, a focused view of her career.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Edited by Eva Keller. Essays by Robert Storr and Jean de la Fontaine.
Born in Paris in 1911 and a New Yorker since 1938, Louise Bourgeois created a unique oeuvre that owes no allegiance to twentieth-century “isms” in the course of a career than has spanned more than 60 years. Her art is grounded in her own life and experience: “My goal is to re-experience a past emotion... to relive anxiety... anxiety is a passive state, and the object is to be active and take control.” Yet Louise Bourgeois did not create an autonomous universe as an artistic hermit. While her art is nourished by personal experience, it also draws from art and art history--a wellspring of inspiration from which she developed her themes, concepts and approach to media in both two- and three-dimensional works. Her rich and fascinating oeuvre is the subject of this publication, which presents more than 50 works from 60 years of creative activity in impressive full-color illustrations. Most of the works featured here are from the Daros Collection in Zurich.
Published by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Edited by Anders Kold and Michael Juul Holm. Essays by Poul Erik Tojner and Penelope Vinding. Introduction by Julie Sylvester.
There is a constant desire to manipulate instead of being manipulated. Art is manipulation without any intervention. So said Louise Bourgeois in a 1988 statement, and so she has attempted to do throughout her life's work, which continues to this day. This modest yet comprehensive volume reveals Bourgeois' Life as Art, reproducing a range of work from throughout her career alongside a selection of photographs, incisive essays and an illustrated biography.