LOUISE BOURGEOIS. IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS | ITSLIQUID

LOUISE BOURGEOIS. IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS

Art | June 4, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of National Museum / Annar Bjørgli | © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by BONO, NO and VAGA at ARS, NY

Louise Bourgeois. Imaginary Conversations
May 06 – August 06, 2023
The National Museum – The Light Hall

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) is one of the great names of 20th-century art. Refusing to be confined by a single artistic movement, Bourgeois explored a variety of styles and techniques – a variety that few other artists can match. Louise Bourgeois. Imaginary Conversations marks a turning point when it comes to Bourgeois’s significance today. This major exhibition in the National Museum’s Light Hall sets her impressively long career against a wide range of interlocutors, both past and present, whose work she engaged with as well as many others who engaged with hers.

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Image courtesy of National Museum / Annar Bjørgli | © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by BONO, NO and VAGA at ARS, NY

The exhibition takes the classic museum retrospective, with its traditional focus on a single individual, and expands it to incorporate the work of other artists. Here, Bourgeois’s highly personal and emotional works are put in dialogue with around 50 artists like Edvard Munch, Marie Laurencin, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Arshile Gorky, Louise Nevelson, Senga Nengudi, Alina Szapocznikow, Seni Awa Camara, Nan Goldin, Robert Gober, and Rosemarie Trockel. Some of the encounters between Bourgeois and these artists actually took place, while other conversations between works have been set up for the exhibition.

louise bourgeois 001
Image courtesy of National Museum / Annar Bjørgli | © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by BONO, NO and VAGA at ARS, NY

Bourgeois is commonly regarded as an outsider in the world of art. Interpretations often treat her as an individual largely isolated from art history and other narratives. Imaginary Conversations is the first large-scale exhibition that seeks to upend the conventional image of Bourgeois and see her as an artist in dialogue with the times she lived through. The exhibition showcases an artist who, throughout her entire career, was preoccupied with the artistic and social changes taking place in contemporary life, such as representations of the body in the 1960s, feminism in the 1970s, and the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s. The exhibition will show that Bourgeois’s interest in themes like loneliness, love, illness, sexuality, and gender roles was shared and informed by many others.

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Image courtesy of National Museum / Annar Bjørgli | © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by BONO, NO and VAGA at ARS, NY

Louise Bourgeois. Imaginary Conversations will be the first exhibition to articulate and define Bourgeois’s bond to art history, presenting her as a central pivot linking modern, postmodern, and contemporary art. The exhibition features work from Bourgeois’s entire career, from her paintings and prints from the 1940s to the more well-known “cells” she created in her final decades.

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Image courtesy of National Museum / Annar Bjørgli | © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by BONO, NO and VAGA at ARS, NY

The exhibition is co-curated by Senior Curator at the National Museum Andrea Kroksnes and visiting curator Briony Fer. The exhibition is a collaboration with The Easton Foundation and is supported by the DNB Savings Bank Foundation. The National Museum and the DNB Savings Bank Foundation have collaborated for several years on presenting Louise Bourgeois’s art in Norway, including through the long-term deposit of seminal Bourgeois works in the National Museum’s collection.

Throughout the exhibition period, Bourgeois’s giant spider sculpture Maman (1999) will be on display in the Palace Park by the Royal Palace, a short walk from the National Museum.

more. www.nasjonalmuseet.no

louise bourgeois 004
Image courtesy of National Museum / Annar Bjørgli | © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by BONO, NO and VAGA at ARS, NY
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Image courtesy of National Museum / Annar Bjørgli | © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by BONO, NO and VAGA at ARS, NY


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