Exhibition organized by Haus der Kunst, Munich in collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
In an artistic career spanning seven decades, Louise Bourgeois (b. 1911, Paris–d. 2010, New York) created a unique body of work in a wide range of forms, materials, and sizes. In the 1940s, she pioneered the display of her works as environmental installations, and in the 1970s and 80s she would at times bring her sculptures into dialogue with theater and performance. Furthermore, her work helped expand critical discourse to encompass psychoanalysis and feminism, theories that have since become prevalent in the artistic language of contemporary art today.
Among the most innovative and challenging sculptural works in her extensive oeuvre are the Cells, a series of architectural spaces that preoccupied her for nearly 20 years. Bourgeois’s Cells are intensely psychological microcosms: situated within various enclosures, each is a multi-faceted collection of objects and sculptural forms arranged to evoke an atmosphere of emotional resonance. In almost theatrical scenes, these everyday objects—items of clothing ,fabric, or furniture—along with singular sculptures by Bourgeois, create a charged barrier between the interior world of the artist and the exterior world that is the exhibition space.
This exhibition, the first solely devoted to analyzing the Cells series, contains the largest number of Cells ever presented together. It also includes important works from previous decades that led to the development of the series. This comprehensive survey brings to light key aspects of Bourgeois’s thinking about space and memory, the body and architecture, and the conscious and the unconscious.