louise bourgeois at the biennale of sydney 2010
original content
jun 07, 2010
louise bourgeois at the biennale of sydney 2010


louise bourgeois was born in paris in 1911 and moved to new york in 1938,
where she continued to live and work, until her death in 2010. for over 60 years,
bourgeois worked across disciplines, producing sculptures, drawings, paintings
and prints dealing with personal memory, emotion and the body. her work is currently
on show at the 17th biennale of sydney.

‘cell (glass spheres and hands)’, 1990-1993
glass, iron, wood, linoleum, canvas, marble
courtesy of the national gallery of victoria, melbourne, australia
image © designboom

first made in the 1980s, bourgeois’ ‘cells’ are large sculptural installations that play on
dual ideas of imprisonment and the comfort of enclosure. taking the form of circular
or cube-like cages or rooms, these symbolically rich environments are repositories of
memory and experience, filled with disparate objects such as figurative sculptures,
old clothes, furniture, household items, perfume bottles, wasps’ nests and personal memorabilia.
‘cell (glass, spheres and hands)’ (1990-1993) is a room inhabited by glass bubbles that sit
atop roughly made chairs. their contained form implies alienation and the denial of communication,
while their fragility and close placement suggests a frustrated but silent communion.
on an adjacent table, a pair of marble hands is clasped in despair. an overall impression
of vulnerability marks what could be a prison of the past, but also an attempt to understand
its intricacies and put them in some kind of order.


detail of the ‘cell’
image © designboom


view inside the ‘cell’ where glass spheres sit on top of roughly made chairs
image © designboom


a peak into the ‘cell’
image © designboom


alternate view
image © designboom


up close of the glass spheres
image © designboom


the cell where a pair of clasped marble hands lies on a table
image © designboom


broken glass exterior of the cell
image © designboom


installation view of ‘echo’ series, 2007 bronze, painted white and steel
courtesy cheim & read, new york and hauser & wirth
image © designboom

‘echo’ is a suite of seven bronze sculptures, cast from bourgeois’ discarded clothes
that have been draped, stretched and sewn together. alternatively slender or slumped
with bulbous folds and creases, they represent maternal feelings of nurturing warmth
and organic growth.


‘echo’, 2007
image © designboom


detail of the draping and cast textile textures
image © designboom


‘echo’, 2007
image © designboom


‘echo’, 2007
image © designboom


‘echo’, 2007
image © designboom


detail
image © designboom


‘echo III’, 2007
bronze, silver nitrate patina and steel
image © designboom


‘echo III’, 2007
bronze, silver nitrate patina and steel
image © designboom


‘echo III’, 2007
bronze, silver nitrate patina and steel
image © designboom


‘echo III’, 2007
bronze, silver nitrate patina and steel
image © designboom


installation view of ‘echo’ series, 2007
image © designboom


‘the couple’, 2007
gouache on paper
courtesy cheim & read, new york and hauser & wirth
image © designboom

‘the couple’, a series of 18 bright red gouache drawings, depict stylized and ambiguous couplings,
with figures that smudge and bleed in an arresting visual metaphor for the blurred lines between
self and other in the struggles for an intimate, sustained and fertile relationship.


detail of ‘the couple’, 2007
photo by designboom


detail of ‘the couple’, 2007
photo by designboom

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library