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Louise Bourgeois

  • Exhibition

  • On view May 2017
  • MASS MoCA

Louise Bourgeois described her artistic practice as an attempt to work through whatever tumult plagued her — psychologically, personally, artistically — to find perfect harmony. Her work often references human anatomy and sexuality, in some instances overtly and in others more subtlely through organic and ambiguous forms. Her oeuvre encompassed drawings, paintings, textiles, embroidered works, sculpture, and installations ranging in scale from a few inches to fully immersive environments. Bourgeois began working with marble in the early 1960s while living in Avenza, Italy, and the medium proved particularly compelling for the artist — its resilience and difficulty pushing her creative boundaries. For Building 6, MASS MoCA, in partnership with the Louise Bourgeois Trust, will present a group of the artist’s marble sculptures, some of which have never been seen previously. The works fluctuate between the whimsical and the grotesque, the threatening and the nurturing, highlighting Bourgeois’ investigations of dualities and the pursuit of identity, individual and communal. The installation also speaks to the artist’s interest in monumental scale, with one sculpture weighing in at more than 10 tons. The design of the gallery that will house these works in Building 6 was constructed specifically to hold the weight of such works.

Untitled, 1991
White marble, two units
1st: 73 × 74 × 115″; 185 × 188 × 292 cm.
2nd: 80 3/4 × 43 1/2 × 100″; 205 × 110 × 254 cm.
photo by Christopher Burke © The Louise Bourgeois Trust / Licensed by VAGA, NY

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