In pictures: A painting exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art reveals an unsung side of artist Louise Bourgeois

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The New Orleans Museum of Art already has a monument Spider by the famous sculptor Louis Bourgeois. Now, from September 9, the museum will also present “Louise Bourgeois: Paintings», the first exhibition of 40 early paintings, sculptures and photos that aims to give his practice an unprecedented context.

The museum partnered with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to bring the exhibit to New Orleans, a city that held special significance to the artist.

“Although Bourgeois did not visit New Orleans until much later in his life, the city loomed large in his consciousness,” NOMA curator Russel Lord, who oversaw the installation, told Artnet News. of the exhibition. “Throughout the exhibition there are subtle references to his interest in the mythical status of the city and its surroundings.”

“These early paintings reveal how the forms and ideas she later explored in sculpture were nascent during this formative time,” Lord continued.

Most of these paintings date from 1938 to 1949 – the period between Bourgeois’ arrival in New York and his departure to new mediums – and trace the themes that inspired Bourgeois through the ages.

“The extensive inclusion of figures and symbols referring to her own biography in these paintings demonstrates that for her, art, whether painting or sculpture, has always been above all a gesture of expression. personal,” Lord said.

Pieces like the first work in the series, titled The girl on the run, “can be understood as self-portraits and suggest the artist’s feelings of displacement when moving to the United States just before World War II,” according to a statement from the museum. Others, like Bourgeois wife house series, show the first forays into her own nuanced feminism.

Take a look at the works in the exhibition below.

Louise Bourgeois, La Fugueuse, around 1938. Oil, charcoal and pencil on canvas, 24 x 15 inches; 61 × 38.1cm. Collection of the Easton Foundation, New York. Photo by Christopher Burke. © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

Louise Bourgeois, Fallen Woman, 1946-1947. Oil on linen, 18 1/2 x 40½ inches; 47 x 103cm. Private Collection, New York Photo by Christopher Burke. © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

Louise Bourgeois, Femme-Maison, 1946–47. Oil and ink on linen, 36 x 14 inches; 92 x 36cm. Private collection, New York. Photo by Christopher Burke. © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, 1946-1947. Oil on canvas, 26 x 44 inches; 66 x 111.8 cm. ARTIST ROOMS, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, Lent by the Artist Rooms Foundation 2018. Photo by Christopher Burke. © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

“Louise Bourgeois: Paintings” is on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art until January 1, 2023.

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