Louise Bourgeois: Room 5

Louise Bourgeois Clutching 1962
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Louise Bourgeois The Lair 1962
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Louise Bourgeois End of Softness 1967
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Louise Bourgeois Le Regard 1966
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After a period of withdrawal from the art world, Louise Bourgeois revealed a new body of work in the mid-1960s. This linked her to a younger generation of artists, like Eva Hesse and Bruce Nauman, who were reacting against minimalism. In 1964 she exhibited (at the Stable Gallery in New York) a series of sculptures made from malleable materials such as plaster and latex. These were a distinct departure from her earlier, rigid, wooden structures. Bourgeois’s concern with the body and the home had now emerged in a number of new forms.

Other works, such as Labyrinthine Tower 1962, extend Bourgeois’s interest in the physical and metaphorical properties of the spiral. Here the geometry of her earlier spirals seems to melt away, producing new drooping, biomorphic or phallic forms. As Bourgeois said ‘The spiral is an attempt at controlling the chaos … It has two directions. Where do you place yourself, at the periphery or at the vortex?’.