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
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.