Louise Bourgeois x Jenny Holzer
The Violence of Handwriting Across a Page
Kunstmuseum Basel, CH
19.02. – 15.05.2022
A FLY CAUGHT IN A PERSONS THOUGT, Louise Bourgeois, 2002 © The Easton Foundation/2022, ProLitteris Zurich, Photo: Christopher Burke
Jenny Holzer (b. 1950), one of the leading contemporary artists of her generation, has curated an exhibition of the work of Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010), widely regarded as one of the most important and influential artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Holzer is internationally renowned for her exploration and subversion of public language through the use of nontraditional forms, from street signs and T-shirts to projections and LEDs. Bourgeois’s psychologically charged work deals with the realm of human emotion: love, desire, dependency, sexuality, rejection, jealousy, and abandonment. Here, in an unprecedented encounter between two giants of American art, the Kunstmuseum Basel presents Bourgeois’s work as seen through Holzer’s eyes.
Holzer approaches Bourgeois’s art through the lens of her extensive writing: Bourgeois’s vast archive ranges from decades of diaries and letters to several hundred psychoanalytic writings, and she frequently incorporated the written word into her art. Works from all stages of Bourgeois’s oeuvre — sculptures, installations, paintings, drawings, prints, and texts — have been selected to create a series of thematic groupings in the galleries of the Neubau.
LOUISE BOURGEOIS X JENNY HOLZER Projections
The combination of word and light plays an important role in Jenny Holzer's work: temporary light installations featuring monumental lettering projected onto buildings and landscapes have been among her best-known works since the 1990s.
The exhibition Louise Bourgeois x Jenny Holzer in Basel will be no exception: During the first days of the exhibition (February 16–22), Holzer will project excerpts from Bourgeois' writings on three public buildings in Basel: City Hall, the Old University on the Rheinsprung, and the Kunstmuseum Basel | Hauptbau.
Topiary, Louise Bourgeois, 2005 © Kunstmuseum Basel - Jonas Hänggi
Untitled, Louise Bourgeois, 1997 © The Easton Foundation/2022, ProLitteris Zurich, Photo: Christopher Burke
UNTITLED (I HAVE BEEN TO HELL AND BACK), Louise Bourgeois, 1996 © Christopher Burke
Garment from Performance "She lost it", Louise Bourgeois, 1992 © The Easton Foundation/2022, ProLitteris Zurich, and VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Nature Study, Louise Bourgeois, 1984 © Kunstmuseum Basel - Jonas Hänggi
Alte Universität, Basel, Switzerland, LOUISE BOURGEOIS X JENNY HOLZER PROJECTIONS, 2022 © Mark Niedermann