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Louise Bourgeois at La Casa Encendida

[1]La Casa Encendida de Obra Social Caja Madrid shows a major exhibition bringing together works from the final ten years of one of the most interesting artists in decades. The indefatigable artist Louise Bourgeois (Paris 1911-New York 2010) worked until her last days. Blazing her personal and universal trail, she availed herself of her oeuvre to analyze her life experience as a woman in the 20th century.

In the works of her final ten years (the sculptures, drawings, cells, textile-based engravings, quilts and patchwork gathered together for the exhibition at La Casa Encendida), her obsessions visibly come to surface. The fixations are dealt with exhaustively, in depth, no holds barred. No matter what the distance or intensity might be of the event in question, her analysis is sober as it ponders on the life and work that were to leave their mark on the 20th century. Of the more than 60 works that make up the exhibit, only two, Rejection and Seven in bed, have been on view in Spain previously. These two were included in the exhibition at the Center of Contemporary Art of Malaga in 2004.

Louise Bourgeois was nearly one hundred years old when she died in 2010, and she worked until the end of her life. In her final years she gave the finishing touches to her personal, albeit universal, pieces. Through her work and for over half a century, she has invited us to join her in her struggle, as a woman and as an artist, to build upon herself and “not be eliminated”. In Bourgeois’ own words: “My femininity has been gnawed by rats. Gnawed inside and out, as if it were an egg pricked by a pin, then sucked empty. (My femininity) needs to be strengthened, encouraged, turned into a ball that will bounce up to the ceiling.”

“HONNI soit QUI mal y pense” is on view through January 13 at La Casa Encendida, Ronda de Valencia 2, 28012 Madrid, +34902430322, www.lacasaencendida.com [2].