Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
21 Dec 1995 to 14 Apr 1996
This was the first major exhibition in Australia of Louise Bourgeois, one of the most respected and influential figures in contemporary art. Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911 into a family of tapestry restorers. She studied mathematics at the Sorbonne, attracted by the permanence and stability of the rules of science. When her mother died in 1930, however, she switched to art, studying painting under Fernand Leger and André Lhote. In 1938, Bourgeois moved to New York with her husband, where she began to work with sculpture. She achieved critical recognition for her work in America, joining the American Abstract artist circle, and became a social activist, campaigning with the feminist anti-censorship movement and for LGBTQ rights. Bourgeois died in New York in 2010.
This exhibition was divided into two sections and arranged in reverse chronology from 1995. On the first floor galleries, works from 1995-85 indicated the breadth of Bourgeois’ passions and concerns, registering the achievement that brought her international recognition. In the second floor galleries, several important groups of works from 1947-1954 marked the artist’s first critical success. The two strikingly different bodies of works from two very different stages of the artist’s career shared an urgency that spoke of the artist’s ferocious engagement with the struggles of life and love.
Touring exhibition from the National Gallery of Victoria.