Until 27 May, The Freud Museum in London hosts a unique exhibition of the work of Louise Bourgeois which features, along with her sculptures and paintings, papers documenting her 30 years in psychoanalysis.
Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911 and died in New York in 2012. She is seen as the founder of confessional art with her famous ‘maman’ spider sculptures hinting at the fragility and strength of the mother role. The artist was greatly affected by her father’s infidelities and in particular his affair with her childhood governess.
Having studied maths at the Sorbonne, Bourgeois switched to art after her mother’s death. She later described life as being divided into a ‘fear of falling’ in early life, followed by the ‘art of falling’ and then ‘hanging on’. Her famous works include ‘The Destruction of the Father’, ‘Cells’ and the ‘Maman’ series of spider sculptures, some of which were over 9 feet high.
The exhibition is called ‘The Return of the Repressed’ and features an events programme and conference. The Freud Museum, once the home of Freud and his daughter Anna, is located in Maresfield Gardens, London and is open Wednesday to Sunday.
As befits so radical and progressive a mind, Bourgeois was creating art right up until her death and latterly was involved in the Freedom to Marry campaign. ‘To promise to love someone forever is a beautiful thing’ she said.