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Louise Bourgeois Prints

Autobiographical Series And Set Of 11 Drypoints

6 August – 10 September, Main Art Gallery

This Hayward Touring exhibition features two series by one of the most important and influential artists of recent decades, Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010). Best known for her powerful emotionally charged sculptures and fabric figures, her output was formidable, growing more expressive as she aged.  This French-American artist’s work always maintained strongly autobiographical themes, centring on her own obsessions and vulnerabilities – loneliness, insecurity, anger, sadness, desire.

Autobiographical Series (1994) captures some of her deepest thoughts and memories, whilst the set of 11 drypoints (all from 1999) brings these anxieties into more abstract territory. Featuring familiar motifs, from the pregnant woman to the cat, the prints in these two series are clearly inspired by her obsessions with the human condition. After many years focusing primarily on sculpture, Bourgeois fell back into printmaking as she aged – from the 1980s until her death in 2010. The two series in this exhibition were made whilst she was in her eighties, after installing a small press in her own home. Printmaking became the medium that brought her practice full circle.