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Indepth Arts News:

"Louise Bourgeois: First Retrospective in Denmark"
2003-02-14 until 2003-06-22
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Humlebæk, , DK

For the first time ever, an exhibition presenting the world-famous, American artist Louise Bourgeois will be shown in Denmark. Born in 1911, her life spans almost the entire modern era. Viewed from the present perspective, a few years into the new millennium, her art is inextricably associated with some of the most significant artistic agendas of the 20th century. Starting with sculpture, Louise Bourgeois’ art has crossed many borders over the years, conquering the space around the viewer. The materials she employs include everything from marble to bronze to old stockings and unraveled items of clothing. Just as her own life spans almost a century, the exhibition at Louisiana will enable the visitor to follow the development of modern art through her art – from Surrealism to the present – from painting, drawing and graphics to classical sculpture and installations, an art form that she pioneered.

The exhibition, organized in cooperation with the artist herself, includes works on loan from all over the world, offering examples of all the most important categories of her artistic output: the very little-known paintings and slender, statuesque Personnages of the 1940s; the distinctive marble and latex sculptures of the 1960s; the already classical Cells of the 1990s, as well as recent sculptural works in which the use of old fabrics and textiles stands out. Furthermore included is a representative selection of the artist’s works on paper, covering her entire career.

The now 91-year-old Louise Bourgeois whose large, sculptural works were shown at the inauguration of the Tate Modern a few years ago, and who left her distinctive mark on the Documenta exhibition in Kassel this summer, has in many ways become a 20th-century icon and cult figure for many of the artists who have succeeded her. In her art, Louise Bourgeois lets the profoundly personal meet the great myths and existential themes of the modern age in an interpretation of man’s innate loneliness – and she accomplishes this without leaving anyone in doubt that here is a woman expressing herself. Her work is also intimately tied to her autobiography. Fundamental childhood experiences serve as a source of inspiration and a pivotal point for her art, but dealt with in such a way that themes of fear, sexuality and death – always present in her work – are linked to an extraordinary vitality and strength, and expressed in a poetic, promissory and life-giving form.

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