Louise Bourgeois – A conversation between Philip Larratt-Smith and Helen Simpson
Philip Larratt-Smith talks with Helen Simpson on the occasion of the Louise Bourgeois exhibition 'Les têtes bleues et les femmes rouges' at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels (11 September — 31 October 2014).
For Louise Bourgeois, fabric and sewing held great symbolic significance. Born into a family of tapestry restorers, she was surrounded by textiles as a child, and was witness to her mother’s constant efforts at conservation and repair. Bourgeois also helped in the atelier, drawing in the missing parts of tapestries that needed reweaving. The artist came to associate sewing with reconstruction, reparation and reconciliation. In contrast to her earlier bodies of work, in which aggressive acts of separation, like cutting and carving, were predominant, Bourgeois’s late work focused on joining elements together, a restorative act that helped to dispel anxiety and her life-long fear of abandonment.