Louise Bourgeois
Works in Marble

Past Exhibition 25 May – 27 Jul 2002 Zürich


Louise Bourgeois is widely and justifiably considered one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. At the age of 90, her creativity remains undiminished. Her work encompasses a variety of art forms, ranging from painting, drawings and prints to installation and sculpture. This year will see her honoured with several exhibitions. She has been invited to take part in the documenta XI, where she is showing installations and the series of “Insomnia drawings” made in the mid-nineties. The Kunsthaus Bregenz will open a show at the beginning of July that will present a selection of her installations and objects together with around 140 drawings. And, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg organised a major retrospective in 2001 which has already travelled to Helsinki and is about to continue on to Stockholm and Oslo.

The aim of the Galerie Hauser & Wirth is to assemble, for the first time in a single exhibition, the marble works that Bourgeois has created since 1967, and to present them as a self-contained body of work. Around 25 floor and pedestal sculptures drawn from public and private collections and the collection of the artist illustrate the fundamental importance of marble in the work of the sculptor, who trained in Paris and has lived in New York since the 1930s.

Bourgeois’s relationship to marble, beginning in the 1960s and continuing to the present, has resulted in singular works in stone that explore in new ways the same themes that have preoccupied her for decade. However, beginning in the mid-eighties, the artist has integrated individual marble sculptures of naturalistically carved human body parts on rough-hewn stone bases into her “Cells”, which she exhibited at the documenta IX in 1992 and in the American pavilion at the 1993 Venice Biennale.

Bourgeois’s use of marble as material has led her to develop a unique and complex formal vocabulary that includes objectless biomorphous and organic, bodily forms as well as figurative, architectural motifs. Bourgeois’s special fascination with light and shadow has found its most powerful expression since the late 1980s in the subtly differentiated treatment of the carved marble surfaces, culminating in the integration of light sources into her sculptures.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Prestel, with numerous illustrations and photographs from the artist’s personal archives and an introductory essay by Michaela Unterdörfer.

About the artist

Born in France in 1911, and working in America from 1938 until her death in 2010, Louise Bourgeois is recognized as one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th Century. For over seven decades, Bourgeois’s creative process was fueled…

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