Posts Tagged ‘Louise Bourgeois’

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Bad Habits

July 24, 2009

“Bad Habits,” on display at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery through Oct. 4, is a far-reaching show and the first since the gallery’s recent re-commitment to highlighting works in its permanent collection.

While I’m not convinced that each piece in the exhibition is naughty enough to fit the theme, it does include a hodgepodge of works from some of the most important artists of the past few decades, showcasing the gallery’s Noah’s Ark approach to art collecting. Loosely organized around the premise of bad habits — taking its name from a series of prints by Lisa Yuskavage — the galleries house such art world heavyweights as Janine Antoni, Matthew Barney, Louise Bourgeois, Cecily Brown, Gilbert & George, Glenn Ligon, Tony Oursler and Jeff Wall.

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Louise Bourgeois and Scheherazade

April 17, 2009

Louise Bourgeois is the rare artist whose orbit intersects with many big thinkers and personalities of the last century, while always remaining relevant and enduring. Not bad for ninety-seven. I love the way she hones her images and takes them into new psychological spaces, and even the way her voice sounds when she speaks. On June 25th, 1984 she wrote:

“Scheherazade talked to ward off castration (assassination). She talks as a last defense. It is a pretty miserable motive, useless and dangerous, silence is wonderful.”

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Bourgeois Annotation

April 8, 2007

Louise Bourgeois’ Destruction of the Father Reconstruction of the Father is a collection of writings and interviews with the now 97-year-old artist from 1923-1997. One of the strongest themes to come out of this body of writing is her concern for being misrepresented as an artist and individual. Bourgeois insists that she receive all the master recordings from interviews, insists on final approval of printed material, and frequently goes head to head with an interviewer when she thinks they aren’t accurately portraying her work. Most of her work is intensely autobiographical and concerned with issues of representation.

Her diary notes are much more intimate and give insight into issues she is dealing with or themes she is exploring in her visual work. Her life feeds the work she creates. On January 27th, 1980 she wrote:

“Forgive and forget, they say—name of a piece. I do not forgive or forget. It is the motto my work feeds on. I am shaking like a leaf. I do not want to talk about the past, I want to talk about the future.”

On June 25th, 1984 she wrote:

“Scheherazade talked to ward off castration (assassination). She talks as a last defense. It is a pretty miserable motive, useless and dangerous, silence is wonderful.”
Read the rest of this entry ?