Weaving was a charged subject for Louise Bourgeois. Brought up in a family of tapestry restorers, Bourgeois rejected a future running the family business in favor of becoming an artist. Towards the end of her career, she turned to the motif of the spider, whom she identified as a repairer, as was her mother. Beginning in the 1990s, imagery relating to the spider and the thread she spun and wove proliferated in the artist’s work to be joined in due course by works that incorporated hand weavings, a technique Bourgeois had long considered, albeit ambivalently. This talk will explore the role of weaving as material and metaphor in Bourgeois’s practice, and her psychic identifications with woven textiles.
Lynne Cooke has been senior curator, special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC since 2014. Previously, she was Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2008-2012, and Curator, Dia Art Foundation, New York, 1991-2008. She has written extensively on contemporary art, including the work of Zoe Leonard, Francis Alÿs, Agnes Martin and James Castle. She is currently curating Braided Histories: Modernist Abstraction and Woven Forms, scheduled for fall 2023.
Organised by Dr Pia Gottschaller (The Courtauld)