Louise Bourgeois 1911-2010

21 Jun 2013 - 11 Aug 2013

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto

The art world recently said goodbye to Louise Bourgeois, who passed away on 31 May 2010 at the age of 98. Her extraordinary career influenced many of the twentieth century’s major movements in art and culture, from Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism and Conceptualism to feminism. 

The exhibition Louise Bourgeois 1911–2010 brings together works from Bourgeois’s early creative endeavours in New York and some of her final artistic statements. Drawing on the NGC’s significant holdings and supplemented by loans from the Louise Bourgeois Trust, the presentation is inspired by her first solo show at New York’s Peridot Gallery in 1949–50, in which she introduced her now iconic wood and metal “personage” sculptures. Bourgeois created these totemic spires as remembrances of friends and family left behind when she immigrated to New York City in 1938 with her husband, the late art historian Robert Goldwater.

Also included in the exhibition is Cell (The Last Climb), 2008, a significant recent installation by the artist constructed around the spiral staircase from Bourgeois’s former Brooklyn studio,  enclosed within a rust-sheened structure dotted with celestial blue glass spheres that appear to rise toward the sky. The work is a compelling ode to a life lived by one of the past century’s most remarkable creative minds. 


Louise Bourgeois<br />
<em>Cell (The Last Climb)</em>, 2008<br />
Steel, wood, blown glass, rubber, and spools of thread, 384.8 x 400.1 x 299.7 cm installed<br />
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa<br />
© Louise Bourgeois Trust <br />
Photo © NGC

Louise Bourgeois
Cell (The Last Climb), 2008
Steel, wood, blown glass, rubber, and spools of thread, 384.8 x 400.1 x 299.7 cm installed
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
© Louise Bourgeois Trust
Photo © NGC