Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Outing to an exhibition

Louise Bourgeois: Love and Kisses 2007 etching on paper 153x91.8cm
This morning was one of those glorious Autumn mornings: crisp frostiness with a sunny blue sky.  Below zero Celsius marked in the car, we set off south west towards Hauser and Wirth's gallery in Somerset to see an exhibition of Louise Bourgeois' works on paper: Turning Inwards.
It was early enough to be driving with hardly any traffic, enjoying as we have in years past the Wiltshire countryside in its crisp glory.  Some trees still holding onto russet leaves, others laden with berries, and crab apples shining in mythic gold - the drive there was pleasure number one.
On arrival we went first to have brunch - pleasure number two.
Then on to the exhibition, mostly of prints.  I was taken with so many aspects.  I am not a fan of all of Bourgeois' work.  My favourite of all are the cells which draw me viscerally.  These prints, however, I could have stayed with all day long.  They are shape and not colour, but shade, tone, strength of line, scumble, scratch, ... both deliberate and seeming accidental marks combine to make a mesmerising whole in each case. 
I love the size: the long slim format, sometimes doubled horizontally - sometimes with two sheets together, or even if whole.  The image at the top, Love and Kisses, shows two sheets side by side.  The bulbous interlocking forms as well as the long ribbons on this work are made up of short marks rather than long sweeps.  The pressure can be seen on each mark, somehow even more powerful than the full sweep of line shaping wholes on other works.  It is all so rewarding to examine closely.
We were lucky to have hardly any fellow viewers in the galleries, so could take time to peer closely and enjoy.  I found these images rewarding and inspirational.
The exhibition also included other work - a spider in the barn with the slits of light illuminating its twisting facets and casting fabulous shadows.  Other works on paper, and a delightful small bronze Topiary (below) which reminded me of votive Egyptian sculptures.
We were disappointed to find that we could not visit Alex Van Gelder's photographs of Bourgeois as there was a school group working in the building where they are displayed, but other than that it was a wondrous exhibition.


  1. These prints are wonderful. I saw some a few years ago, can't remember where, the Tate maybe.

    A good day out. Still have not been to Hauser and Wirth, Somerset - a bit too far for us, we would have to combine it with other things.

    1. Eirene I was interested in your post about the Bourgeois works in the Switch House of Tate Modern. Your blog does not allow me to comment these days: the 'Comment as' box always pulls down blank.

  2. Thanks for letting me know, Olga. It's all fixed now.