10th October 2007 — 20th January 2008
On the riverbank outside the Tate Modern, like a creature escaped from a sci-fi B-movie, a giant spider announces the Louise Bourgeois retrospective. Don't miss this comprehensive showing of 70 years of work from arguably the most significant female artist of the last century. Her early images of 'femme maisons', woman/house hybrids, explore anxieties around smothering domestic spaces. 'Cell (Choisy)' is a pink marble model of her grand childhood home inside a dirty glasshouse guarded by a rusty guillotine blade. Her 'Personages' are groups of totemic abstract figures. Bourgeois's autocratic father made her governess his mistress, a childhood wound that surfaces again and again throughout the artist's work. 'He Disappeared into Complete Silence' is a series of engravings with text, Gothic psychological dramas. A man makes his wife into stew and feeds her to their friends at a cocktail party. Bourgeois' installation 'The Destruction of the Father' enacts the fantasy of eating rather than appeasing the tyrannical father. Her tactile sculptures 'Fillette' and 'Janus', pun on sexual body parts as do her biomorphic marble pieces based on ventouse cups. Bourgeois' 'Cells' are autobiographical cages and structures filled with sinister household objects. Born in 1911, wrinkled matriarch Bourgeois is still producing art and inspiring new generations of feminist artists.
London SE1 9TG