LOUISE BOURGEOIS PRINTS:
Autobiographical Series and 11 Drypoints
Glasgow Print Studio, Trongate 103, Glasgow
Running from September 23 – October 29
Private View September 22, from 6 – 8pm
Glasgow Print Studio is hosting a Hayward Touring exhibition by one of the most important and influential artists of the late twentieth century. Louise Bourgeois (1911 – 2010) is best-known for her powerful emotionally charged works exploring the unconscious, desire and the body. This Hayward Touring exhibition comprises of Bourgeois’ Autobiographical Series and a set of 11 drypoints. Created towards the end of her seven decade career, these deeply personal prints capture some of the artist’s deepest thoughts, memories and anxieties.
This French-American artist’s work, whether in sculpture, drawing or printmaking, always maintained strongly autobiographical themes, centering on her own obsessions and vulnerabilities – loneliness, insecurity, anger, sadness, desire.
Autobiographical Series (1994) captures some of her deepest thoughts and memories, whilst the set of 11 drypoints (all from 1999) brings these anxieties into more abstract territory. Featuring familiar motifs, from the pregnant woman to the cat, the prints in these two series are clearly inspired by her obsessions with the human condition. Womb-like figures, stairs and ladders, feet, long hair, clocks, scissors, bathtubs and a pregnant mosquito all contain charged references to memory, with such titles as ‘Empty Nest’, ‘Paternity’, ‘Please Hang in There’ and ‘Mother and Child’. The print entitled ‘Fear’, as part of 11 drypoints, for example, shows a person crouched inside a triangle that is slowly squeezing her into a tight space. The memory of her mother sewing – the Bourgeois family ran a successful tapestry company – is evoked in ‘Sewing’, in the Autobiographical Series.
Louise Bourgeois began making prints in the 1930s and briefly ran a print shop in Paris before she emigrated to New York in 1938. She lived in Manhattan for the rest of her life. There she worked at S.W. Hayter’s print workshop and later bought a press so that she could work from home while raising her three children. Following her husband’s death in 1973, she taught printmaking at the School of Visual Arts.