Louise Bourgeois at Gordon Galleryby Lotte Beilin | 08.11.17
Louise Bourgeois’ prints have never had as much attention as they are getting now. The current exhibition “Pink Days / Blue Days” at Gordon Gallery focuses on Bourgeois’ prints, mainly those created in the last decade of her life. They reveal, for the first time in Israel, the Gordian knot between Bourgeois’ art and the medium of print.
French American artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), one of the most prominent and influential artists of the 20th century, left behind a body of work rare in its material diversity and emotional intensity, created over nearly seven decades.
The artist produced a richly symbolic and figurative language, transposing the human body with architecture, animals, objects, and plants. All of Bourgeois’ images and forms articulate a range of universal human emotions, including desire, anxiety, loneliness, pain, and anger.
The title of the exhibition “Pink Days / Blue Days” is taken from a sculpture of the same name created in 1997: variously sized garments from Bourgeois’ wardrobe hang from clothes hangers attached to the ‘arms’ of a central steel pole, such as a pink baby gown hanging from a bone. Addressing time and memory, among other themes, the sculpture preceded Bourgeois’ use of clothes and fabric in her late prints in which she often embroidered her signature. The title also alludes to the expression ‘pink days’ written in pink over the pages of a music notebook, which Bourgeois’ made in 2008.
For Bourgeois, the color pink represented femininity and happiness, while blue was symbolic of melancholy and depression. Blue could also represent the sky which in turn expressed feelings of escape and being overwhelmed.
Telavivian Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Michal Freedman, the director of Gordon Gallery, to ask a few questions about the exhibition:
How special is it to have Louise Bourgeois exhibiting at Gordon Gallery? For the past 50 years, Gordon Gallery has been known for exhibiting leading contemporary Israeli artists. In recent years we’ve expanded our activity and are now dedicated to creating a dialogue between Israeli and international artists. For us, Louise Bourgeois is one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century, so it is a great honor for us to hold the first gallery presentation of works in Israel.
Has Louise Bourgeois had a particular influence on the Middle East? As her visual language is so versatile and her work so strong, Louise Bourgeois has been very influential on artists worldwide, including the middle east. It is easy to see references to her work in Ruthi Helbitz Cohen’s paintings Sigalit Landau and Philip Rantzer’s sculptures for example.
Anything else you would like to add about the exhibition? Louise Bourgeois is known for her monumental sculptures and intricate fabric objects, but she has been making prints since the late 1930’s and until her passing. We felt it was time to highlight this beautiful, more intimate side of her work and we hope the exhibition provides local art lovers with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of it.
The exhibition Pink Days / Blue Days is on view at Gordon Gallery until October 28th.
Gordon Gallery, 6 HaPelech St, Tel Aviv.
Photos by Lotte Beilin.