Late French-American artist Louise Bourgeois the subject of two retrospective exhibitions

The sculptor's many themes will be explored in twin shows at the Fruitmarket and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Late French-American artist Louise Bourgeois the subject of two retrospective exhibitions

With a career which spanned much of the 20th century, the late French-American artist Louise Bourgeois is such a decisive and significant figure in the contemporary landscape that her retrospective in Edinburgh will require two major shows to support it. At the Fruitmarket (the first gallery to show Bourgeois’ work in Edinburgh nearly a decade ago) is I Give Everything Away, a selection of works on paper which includes her 220-piece, sleeplessness-combatting 'Insomnia Drawings' series.

At the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, meanwhile, is A Woman Without Secrets, a major retrospective of Bourgeois’ later career which will feature works including 'Couple I' (1996), the hanging fabric sculpture of conjoined physicality; 'A l’Infini' (2009), a multi-part suite of 16 drawings; and 'Untitled' (2010), a meditation on mortality from the year she died, with its soft bodily sculpture made from blankets and berets which she wore throughout her life.

‘Bourgeois’ work often deals with the ambiguous forces that drive emotional life,’ says SNGMA’s senior curator Lucy Askew of this Artist Rooms presentation. 'Key themes in the exhibition include the body, relationships, motherhood, couples and the cycles of life. Across a career spanning seven decades she was a bridge between modern and contemporary art practice, and throughout her life she consistently challenged conventional means of making art and created works on her own terms. These sculptures, installations and drawings express a distinct visual language, and confront the viewer in a direct and powerful way.’

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Sat 26 Oct–Sun 18 May; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Sat 26 Oct–Sun 23 Feb.

Louise Bourgeois: I Give Everything Away

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was a tiny Frenchwoman with an impish smirk, who made sculptures, installations and images that gave unforgettable shape to her lifelong theme: human relationships and the trouble they cause. She is a hero to artists as diverse as Dorothy Cross and Tracey Emin, and her work, although often…

Louise Bourgeois: A Woman Without Secrets

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was one of the great artists of the 20th century, who drew on her own private demons and made them into works of art. This major exhibition focuses on her sculptural work, including pieces such as Spiral Woman, Avenza and Cell (Eyes and Mirrors).

On Louise Bourgeois: Jerry Gorovoy in Conversation with Anthony D'Offay and Lucy Askew

An insight into the work and life of Louise Bourgeois from Jerry Gorovoy, who was the artist's personal assistant and friend for 30 years.

'Almost Same yet Different': Ambivalence and Bisexuality in the Work of Louise Bourgeois

Juliet Mitchell discusses ambivalence and bisexuality in the work of the late French sculptor.

Wee Small Hours

Stay up late, or curl up and get ready for bed in the Louise Bourgeois exhibition. In partnership with Book Week Scotland, we will be presenting a programme of artists, musicians and writers into the wee small hours of the morning.


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