Louise Bourgeois: Woven Yarns

Speaker: Lynne Cooke - Senior Curator, Special Projects in Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

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) 

This event has passed.

10 Feb 2022

Thursday 10th February 2022, 6pm - 7pm GMT

Free, booking essential


Registration closes 30 minutes before the event start time. If you do not receive log in details on the day of the event, please contact researchforum@courtauld.ac.uk  

Woven artwork
Louise Bourgeois YOU ARE MY POLAR STAR, 2009, woven fabric, and archival dyes printed on fabric 85.7 x 118.1 cm. © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at ARS, NY and DACS, UK, Photo: Christopher Burke
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