Louise Bourgeois Shares Personal Archives On Occasion of Retrospective

Louise Bourgeois Shares Personal Archives On Occasion of Guggenheim Retrospective

Unique Presentation of the Artist’s Photographs and Diaries Accompanies Most Comprehensive Examination to Date of Bourgeois’ Distinguished Career

Exhibition: A Life In Pictures: Louise Bourgeois
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
June 27, 2008 – September 12, 2008

(NEW YORK, NY – June 23, 2008) – A Life in Pictures: Louise Bourgeois, an exhibition of photographs, diaries, and ephemera from the artist’s personal archive, is on view at the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from June 27 through September 12, 2008.  This biographical exhibition is unique to the Guggenheim’s presentation of the major retrospective Louise Bourgeois organized by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in association with Tate Modern, London, and Centre Pompidou, Paris, which is on view in the Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda and an adjacent gallery from June 27 – September 28.  A Life in Pictures: Louise Bourgeois is organized by Nancy Spector, Chief Curator of the Guggenheim Museum.

For Louise Bourgeois, art and life are inextricably linked.  Although her complex, allusive work attains a universal significance, she has spoken of the autobiographical subtext that underpins her unique symbolic language.  A Life in Pictures: Louise Bourgeois offers an opportunity to visually trace the personal narratives that have informed the artist’s work throughout the past seven decades of her extensive career. Born in Paris in 1911, Bourgeois grew up in provincial France, assisting with the family’s tapestry restoration business before immigrating to New York in 1938.  “Everything I do,” she has explained, “was inspired by my early life.” Viscerally present in her art is the psychic trauma of her mother’s early death, her father’s betrayal of the family through his 10-year affair with their live-in English tutor, and her overlapping roles of student, daughter, wife, mother and artist.

A Life in Pictures: Louise Bourgeois illuminates the artist’s rich life and career through a chronological display of over 75 photographs taken by her family and by fellow artists and friends such as Brassaï, Peter Moore, Inge Morath, and Baird Jones.  Snapshots of Bourgeois -- in France as a child, in the studio among her iconic works, at home at her famed Sunday salons, or in the company of great artists -- are shown alongside her identification cards and passports. The artist’s original diaries, which she has kept assiduously since 1923, offer poems, sketches and daily musings, and often indicate the tensions between rage, fear of abandonment, and guilt she has suffered since childhood—tensions, however, that she has been able to channel and release through her art.  Included in the presentation are 10 original invitations dating from 1945 to 1978, announcing some of Bourgeois’s New York exhibitions.  These selections from the artist’s archive contextualize the more than 150 works on view in the accompanying retrospective, such as Bourgeois’s early Femme Maison drawings and paintings of the 1940s, through the large-scale enclosed installations created in the 1990s known as Cells, to her more recent soft sculptures created from stitched fabric.

The Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum
Opened to the public in fall of 2001, the Sackler Center for Arts Education serves as a dynamic 21st-century education hub and learning laboratory that offers innovative public programs in the visual, performing, and literary arts. Exploration and experimentation with new technologies is the center’s hallmark, which broadens and enriches programs for youth, adults, and families. Artists as well as cultural and academic institutions are valued collaborative partners. An 8,200-square-foot education facility, the Sackler Center comprises Studio Art, Computer, and Multimedia Labs, the New Media Theater, an exhibition gallery, the Resource Center, the Conference Room, and education offices. It also includes the existing Peter B. Lewis Theater, part of Frank Lloyd Wright’s original architectural design for the building.

Education Programs
A full schedule of educational programs is being presented under the auspices of the Sackler Center for Arts Education during the run of the exhibition.  For updated information regarding ticketed programs, contact the Box Office at 212 423 3587 or visit www.guggenheim.org/education.

Lectures and Panels
Patterns of Memory - Shapes of Anxiety
Tuesday, July 22, 6:30 PM

Professor Robert Storr, Dean, Yale School of Art offers this lecture on the rich career of Louise Bourgeois.  For seventy years Louise Bourgeois has given form to the contradictions of existence at their most acute.  Often figurative but just as often abstract, a prone to radical mutations, her work has seemed disparate to observers who have followed it only episodically.  Now, in retrospect, it has become clear that it is knitted together by formal, thematic and emotional threads that make it all of a piece.  Tickets are $10 and $7 for members and students.

Old-Age Style: Late Louise Bourgeois
Tuesday, September 16, 6:30 PM

Linda Nochlin, Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, discusses Louise Bourgeois’s “late style” within the context of the artist’s long and distinguished career. Focusing on Bourgeois’s recent stuffed fabric sculptures, Professor Nochlin contrasts this characteristic “soft” production with the more architectonic sculptures dating from the same period. Tickets are $10 and $7 for members and students.

Eye to Eye:  Artist Led Tours of Louise Bourgeois
Various Dates, 6:30 PM

This new series invites the public to join a multigenerational group of leading contemporary artists on private guided tours that explore Bourgeois’s distinctive iconography.  Tours will be offered by Nayland Blake, July 7; David Altmejd, July 14 and July 21; Karen Finley, July 28 and August 27; Rachel Harrison, September 8; and Marina Abramoviæ, September 17. Receptions with the artist offering the tour will follow.  A single tour is $25 and $20 for members. Series of 3 is $60 and $50 for members. Limit 25 people per tour.

Film Screening
LOUISE BOURGEOIS: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine
Friday, September 26, 6:30 pm

Directed by Marion Cajori and Amei Wallach, this new, long-awaited film about the life and the work of the iconic Bourgeois celebrates her art and her times through intimate conversations with the artist, archival footage and exquisitely shot sequences of her art, filmed from 1992 through 2008.  The screening will be followed by a conversation with a circle of Bourgeois’s close friends, family and art world luminaries, including her long-time assistant Jerry Gorovoy; Nancy Spector, Chief Curator, Guggenheim Museum; and Deborah Wye, Chief Curator of the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, Museum of Modern Art; moderated by Amei Wallach. Tickets are $15 and $10 for members and students. 



Admission and Museum Hours: Entrance to A Life in Pictures: Louise Bourgeois is free with museum admission: $18 adults, $15 students/seniors (65+), children under 12 free. Admission includes audio guide. Saturday to Wednesday, 10 AM to 5:45 PM; Friday, 10 AM to 7:45 PM. Closed Thursday. On Friday evenings, beginning at 5:45 PM, the museum hosts Pay What You Wish. For general information call, 212 423 3500, or visit www.guggenheim.org.

June 23, 2008


Lauren Van Natten, Senior Publicist
Claire Laporte, Associate, Media Relations
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
212 423 3840
E-mail: publicaffairs@guggenheim.org

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