The Freudian dictum holds that where Id was, there Ego shall be. In Louise Bourgeois‘ terms, the successful realization of a sculpture functions to make conscious what was previously unconscious — that is, repressed and inaccessible — and discharge unwelcome or unmanageable instinctual impulses. Her symbolic forms, like the symptoms of the neurotic, are compromise formations between a wish and a defense.
The Destruction of the Father is a critical cathartic work in Louise Bourgeois’ artistic development and psychic life. Completed in 1974, the year after the death of her husband, Robert Goldwater, the work is a synthesis of the soft landscapes, poured forms, and sexually explicit part objects that she made starting in 1960. It is also the artist’s first installation piece and looks forward to the Cells of the 1990s.
Louise Bourgeois (1911 – 2010) began her series of room-like sculptures called Cells in 1991, eventually creating some sixty examples in various sizes and of varying complexity.
Some are filled with with a haunting mix of her personal belongings and her sculptures.
Cell VI is among the simplest. Bourgeois often chose the color Blue for its serene and calming effect.
Photographed as part of at the the exhibit, Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait, at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC Through January 28th, 2018.
Throughout her long career, Louise Bourgeois (1911 – 2010) treated the motif of spiders across many different media, from drawings and prints to monumental outdoor sculpture. The theme was initially associated with her mother, a tapestry restorer, but grew to take on broader associations as a strong female protector against evil. This example, Spider Woman — dating from the last decade of the artist’s life — represents a female spider with a human face, contained within an egg-shaped form. The vibrant scarlet ink is a color that Bourgeois favored in her later work.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Louise Bourgeois‘ two hands engaged in an intimate caress sit incongruously on a roughly chiseled, seemingly unfinished base. In the early 1930s, Bourgeois studied with Charles Despiau, one of Auguste Rodin’s assistants; she may well have learned about Rodin’s marble sculptures of hands from Despiau. Later, in 1967-68, she traveled to Pietrasanta, Italy, where she discovered the same marble quarries from which Michelangelo sourced his material. It was at this point that Bourgeois adopted the medium. As the artist once said of the difficult task of working with marble,” you have to win the shape.” Her fight to conquer the block of marble is left visible here in this work from 1996.
Untitled (No. 2) was Photographed in The Met Breuer (former home of The Whitney Museum), in Manhattan, where it is part of the Museum’s Inaugural Exhibit, Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible.
What an amazing treat it is to have Flag Art Foundation founder Glenn and his wife Amanda Furhman share a selection of sculptures and assorted artworks from their own private collection with fans of their very cool gallery. Geoffrey and I attended the opening reception on Saturday (in the middle of a snow storm!) and were just blown away by an amazing collection that looks like it belongs in a museum. Here are a few of our favorite pieces!
This is may be my favorite small scale sculpture by Anish Kapoor The color and quality of the surface is just outstanding.
You might have seen Elaine Sturtevnat’s reproduction of the work of Gonzalez-Torres at her recent retrospective at MOMA.
You can see the Gonzalez-Torres piece reflected in this work by Jim Hodges which is composed of small tiles of mirrored black glass. Very beautiful.
The Fuhrmans must be big fans of Louise Bourgeois, as this was one of three pieces by the late artist included in this show.
Imagine having this piece by Maurizio Cattelan in your private collection. How cool would that be?
I can run pretty hot and cold when it comes to the art of Matthew Barney, but this, I love. See a detail shot below.
Look at the art direction on this. Just look at it. Amazing.
What a fantastic and fun sculpture by German contemporary artist Katharina Fritsch. I love her work.
German Sculptor Thomas Schütte has done a series of these large statues called Grosser Geist — which means “Great Spirit” in German — though no two of these works are exactly alike.
I left the guard’s legs in the shot so you can see how large these spoons are. Another very fun sculpture!
This one looks like a over-sized stick of Butter in a Baby Crib surrounded by Yellow Apples. Everything in the crib is fabricated from Beeswax.
Sculptor Ron Mueck creates startlingly lifelike miniature sculptures of people. These ladies stand about 33 inches high and you could swear they are about to talk to you.
British artist Marc Quinn has created dozen of sculptures of supermodel Kate Moss in various contorted poses.
As you can see just from these few photos, this is an enormously exciting exhibit presenting a very rare opportunity to experience a private art collection of such high quality and displaying such exceptional taste. Absolutely do not miss this one!
A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection will be on Exhibit Through May 16th, 2015 at Flag Art Foundation, Located at 545 West 25th Street, 9th and 10th Floors, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Cheim & Read has a must-see exhibit up through January by one of our favorite artists, renowned French-American sculptor Louise Bourgeois. The sculptures in this exhibition, which, appropriately, is called Suspension, all hang from the ceiling, which was lots of fun to experience at the very crowded reception on October 30th. The show also includes a group of drawings from the 1940s, in which pendulous forms are delineated in black ink, the selection of works traces the theme of suspension throughout Bourgeois’s long career. I actually didn’t discover her work until I saw her massive career retrospective at the Guggenheim back in 2008. She passed away in 2010 at the age of 98.
Spanning more than forty-five years – from the organic Lair forms of the early 1960s and the Janus series of 1968, to the cloth figures of the 1990s, the hanging heads of the 2000s, and the torqued spirals of shining aluminum made in the last years of Bourgeois’s life – these hanging sculptures demonstrate the myriad ways in which she approached material, form and scale. Like all of Bourgeois’s works, they are also highly autobiographical.
The very physicality of Bourgeois’s work – its density and weight – is offset by the seemingly effortless, floating state in which they are presented. Eschewing the traditional sculptural base, Bourgeois positions her work in dialogue with the viewer and surrounding environment. Tethered to the ceiling but by no means static, her sculptures have the potential to revolve on their axes, providing a sense of movement and instability.
The implied vulnerability is especially profound in works like the polished bronze Arch of Hysteria (1993), in which a male figure hangs from a cord attached at the pelvis.
The double-headed fabric Arch of Hysteria (2004), in which male and female torsos are fused and hung at the waist; or the bronze Femme (2005), which is suspended by the figure’s pregnant abdomen.
Other works are similarly evocative. In Henriette (1985), a portrait of the artist’s sister, a single prosthetic leg never reaches solid ground, while the elongated rubber legs of Legs (1988) stop just shy of the floor. The soft folds and flaccid double ends of the androgynous Janus series (1968), though cast in bronze, seem exposed and defenseless. One – Hanging Janus with Jacket – seeks protection under a hard outer shell. The Quartered One (1964-65), conjures images of beef hanging in a slaughterhouse.
Late works, like Untitled (2004, Top photo in this post) and The Couple (2007-09), manifest the implications of suspension within their forms – coils of aluminum weave in and out and over each other, as if echoing the spiraling and spinning of which they are capable. Various associations with hanging – suicide and murder, as well as the connection between mother and child through the umbilical cord – are further explored in the exhibits catalogue by Robert Pincus-Witten, as he examines the trajectory of Bourgeois’s work.
Suspension by Louise Bourgeois will be on Exhibit Through January 10, 2015 at Cheim and Read, Located at 547 West 25th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.