The solo exhibition “Papillons Noirs (Black Butterflies)” dedicated to renowned French-American artist Louise Bourgeois (1911 – 2010) officially inaugurates the programme of the new Hauser & Wirth St. Moritz. Spanning two floors of the gallery, the art show collects works from the late career of the artist and takes its title from Bourgeois’ ‘psychoanalytic writings’, which the artist produced while she was undergoing an intense psychoanalysis path.
The first series on view features some of her black fabric heads, created between 2000 and 2003. For her, colours were metaphoric of emotions and, as a consequence, black symbolised negative feelings and referenced her depression and anxiety. The heads are composed of layered hand-sewn scraps of black terry cloth, tapestry, and fragments of her own clothing and express the artist’s deep identification with her mother. The second series displayed, the “Portrait Cells” is part of the bigger body of works of Cells, which reference both the natural units which compose living beings and a place of isolation and imprisonment. Bourgeois’ interest here does not rely on the accuracy of portraits but rather on the effects of one individual on another, resulting from their encounter. Every head aims to transmit different psychological expressions and complex emotional states. In this way the artist explores human experience, creating the code for a new language based on emotions.
- Louis Bourgeois, "Untitled", 2003, © The Easton Foundation / ProLitteris, Zurich, Courtesy The Easton Foundation and Hauser & Wirth, Photo: Christopher Burke