Born in Paris in 1911 and moved to the United States in 1938 upon her marriage, Louise Bourgeois was the first woman artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1982. Since then, she has shown at numerous domestic and international exhibitions and has been awarded with such rewards as the Lion d’Or in 1999 at the 48th Venice Biennale.
Louise Bourgeois’ art always starts with her own life and experience. Her family background and the traumatic relationship among her father, mother and governess have continued to underpin her work throughout the long career that spans almost a century. Her art has been means of unraveling, exploring, and conquering the psychic drama of the troubling memories and unsettling mental images of her childhood. The analysis into her past experiences has found shapes in erotic and grotesque images of the body. She has continued to express the human subconscious and internalized experiences to create symbolic expressions of desire, pleasure, love, hate and isolation.
In Bourgeois’ art and life, drawing has played a special part for more than seven decades. She engaged in this form of art at the age of twelve, drawing patterns for her parents’ tapestry restoration trade long before her artistic career started. In her art, drawing is a form of repairing. Repeated lines are like stitches made to repair cloth, and it is the inner need for repetition that is the essence of this body of work. To her, repetition is consoling, sustaining, and also refueling. The rhythm and repetition of her drawings create multiple meanings as images intertwine, transform, and metamorphose into one another.
In this second exhibition of her works, Kukje Gallery will present some of the artist’s latest drawings that record the fluctuations of her solitary existence in the Chelsea townhouse where she has withdrawn into a sedentary life. Along with her many drawings, a lithograph book of color and fabric and an architectural sculpture built of symbolic objects will also be on display. Now ninety four, Louise Bourgeois is definitely one of the living legends in the art world who demonstrates an ongoing passion for new artistic forms of human experience.