The exhibition presented in Xavier Hufkens Gallery, in Brussels, Les têtes bleues et le femmes rouges, of Louise Bourgeois (1911- 2010), consists of group of artworks that are being exhibited together for the first time. They were produced during the last years of the artist’s life, between 2004 and 2009.
The works exhibited are indeed têtes bleues (blue heads) – sculptures that incorporate fabric and sewing (Louise Bourgeois lived amongst fabrics in her childhood, being the daughter of tapestry restorers) – and femmes rouges (red women) – two groups of red gouache and colored pencil paintings. The artist’s work is autobiographical and there is a clear emotional relation to episodes of her life.
The blue heads, the sewing or the hand stitching appear in Louise Bourgeois’s work as a way of making peace, repairing and reconciling with her past. For the artist, blue is the color of melancholia but also of creativity. The red women are free-formed gouache painted figures, representing motherhood, pregnancy and sexuality.
There is a duality across the work of the artist and particularly in the works shown in this exhibition – blue/red, male/female, melancholy/aggressiveness, family/individuality. The blue heads are enclosed in glass displays, cages or glass globes inside glass boxes and the red figures are flowing in the paper. These are the signs that Louise Bourgeois meant to create – signs of opposition, which potentiate the balance to overcome and rebuild the past.
Xavier Hufkens Gallery will be exhibiting Louise Bourgeois work until the 31st of October.