Happiest Birthday to You, Louise Bourgeois
Critics have often commented on the overlapping themes and materials in the works of Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois—sexuality, female subjectivity, motherhood, and the use of fabrics and embroidery—but it wasn’t until the end of Bourgeois’s life that the two came together for an artistic collaboration. Speaking of her first meeting with Bourgeois, Emin said, “I looked into her eyes and imagined her obsessed, drawing spiral after spiral, the collective mental patterns of our minds.” Bourgeois began their open-ended project by producing a series of gouache paintings of male and female torsos, pregnant women’s bellies, and erect phalluses. After months spent ruminating on Bourgeois’s watercolors, Emin added to them with text, as well as further images of fetuses and miniature female figures. The final works, which display the deeply personal tones and subject matter typical of both artists, were printed with archival dyes on cloth.
French-American and British, 1911 and 1963, Paris and Croydon, Surrey, United Kingdom, based in London & New York & Paris