Louise Bourgeois in the studio of her apartment at 142 East 18th Street, ca. 1946. Gelatin silver print, 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 in. (5.7 x 5.7cm). © The Easton Foundation / Licensed by VAGA to Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Exhibition dates: from April 12 to August 7, 2022
Venue: The Met Fifth Avenue, The Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Gallery, Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, Floor 1
Louise Bourgeois: Paintings is the first comprehensive exhibition of paintings by the famous artist, produced between her arrival in New York from Paris in 1938 and her abandonment of the medium in 1949. While Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) is best known today as a sculptor , she It was in this early body of work – created in the decade spanning World War II – that her mature artistic voice emerged, establishing a core group of visual motifs that she would continue to explore. and to develop during his decades of career. The exhibition which opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 12, 2022 sheds light on a lesser-known but formative chapter in the artist’s practice.
The exhibition is made possible by The Modern Circle, The Easton Foundation and Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust.
“Louise Bourgeois’ early paintings are the basis of her extraordinary artistic oeuvre,” said Max Hollein, French director of Marina Kellen of the Met. “This exhibition at the Met marks the first significant gathering of her works on canvas in forty years and offers the rare opportunity to explore a little-known period in the career of an iconic artist. The presentation of this powerful and complex work is full of surprises. everyone, even those familiar with his sculptures and installations.
Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chair of the Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, added: “To date it is not widely known that Bourgeois was active as a painter in New York for ten years, a period when the city became a vital international hub amid critical debates around the painting. This exhibition reveals the fundamental DNA of the artist’s development of themes that would later blossom into three dimensions and preoccupy her for the rest of her long career.
Bourgeois’ paintings can be seen as self-portraits: serving to identify and locate her, while evoking the sense of displacement that accompanied her move to the United States on the eve of World War II. This first set of works reflects the artist’s intimate knowledge of 20and European avant-garde movements of the century, particularly Modernist architecture and Surrealism, as well as the rapidly changing New York art scene of the 1940s. His interest in French and Italian Renaissance conventions for the depiction of Three-dimensional space and architecture is also evident, which she studied in The Met collection of drawings and prints. The exhibition includes the hybrid woman-house from the “Femme Maison” series, as well as early works such as Brotherhood (1940), a selection of abstract oil works (1942-1944) and a group of later paintings, which anticipate his turn to three-dimensional work.
Following its Met debut, the exhibit will travel to the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), from September 7, 2022 through January 1, 2023.
Louise Bourgeois: Paintings is curated by Clare Davies, Associate Curator in the Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by Yale University Press.
The catalog is made possible by The Modern Circle.
The exhibition is presented on the Museum’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #BourgeoisPainting.