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Exhibition sponsored by: Fundaciu00f3n BBVA
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Exhibition sponsored by: Fundaciu00f3n BBVA


March 18, 2016 – September 4, 2016

Cell (The Last Climb), 2008
Steel, glass, rubber, thread and wood
384.8 x 400.1 x 299.7 cm
Collection National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Photo: Christopher Burke
© The Easton Foundation / VEGAP, Madrid

“Space does not exist; it is just a metaphor for the structure of our existence.” Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Working with a wide range of materials and forms, she created a body of work that extended over seven decades.

Over her long career as an artist, Louise Bourgeois developed concepts and formal inventions that later became key positions in contemporary art; these included the use of environmental installation and theatrical formats, and the engagement with psychoanalytic and feminist themes. Both her distinctive sculptural forms and her outstanding drawings and graphic works are second to none. Among the most innovative and sophisticated sculptural works in her extensive oeuvre are the Cells, a series of architectural spaces that deal with a range of emotions. Created over a span of two decades, the Cells present individual microcosms; each is an enclosure that separates the internal from the external world. In these unique spaces, the artist arranged found objects, clothes, furniture, and sculptures to create emotionally charged, theatrical sets.

Including the five precursor works to the Cells that first emerged in 1986 with Articulated Lair, Louise Bourgeois created approximately 60 Cells over the course of her career. This exhibition is the largest overview of this body of work to date.

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