Installation view, Bourgeois in Boston, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2007–08. Photo by Charles Mayer Photography.
Spanning six decades, Bourgeois in Bostonbrings together sculptures, prints, drawings, and a rare, early painting, all lent from area museums and private collections.
In the sixty years since her first solo exhibition, Louise Bourgeois has become one of our most influential living artists. Her emotionally-charged body of work, a distinctive mix of abstraction and figuration, delves into childhood memories and the struggles of everyday life. Utilizing a variety of materials—wood, bronze, marble, steel, rubber, and fabric—she crafts highly symbolic and personally cathartic objects that reference the body, sexuality, family, trauma, and anxiety.
“All my work…all my subjects, have found their inspiration in my childhood. My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama.” – Louise Bourgeois
Among the works in the exhibition are a rare, early painting and more than 25 works on paper, which will be rotated over the course of the exhibition (new groupings will be presented on May 22, August 28, and November 26). The selection of sculptures spans the entirety of her career and ranges from a hand-stitched figure made with the artist’s old clothing to Spider (1996), a spindly bronze arachnid that looms more than 10 feet tall. The breadth of work in Boston allows us to chart Bourgeois’s artistic shifts, as well as make links between themes that have long consumed her.