The microcosms of Louise Bourgeois

Step into the artist’s cells at the Guggenheim.


Guggenheim Museum Bilbao offer us the chance to play an instrumental role in organizing the largest survey to date of the series Structures of Existence: The Cells by renowned Franco-American artist Louise Bourgeois.

Bourgeois produced approximately 60 (!) works in this series, assembling found objects and artefacts from her daily life (clothing, fabric and furniture) into sculptures within distinctive architectural enclosures that she calls “cells”.

064.Galerias Louise Bourgeois_2016

Each of these cells is a unique, individual microcosm encompassing a range of emotions and associations personal to the artist, often referencing her own childhood and its complexity to encapsulate the many motifs and interests. She once stated that her art is existentialist, and the she believes this is what has allowed her to make sense of everything.

While these cells are beautifully elaborate, surrealist and tender, they also offer something darker, dealing each time with the concept of pain and fear; physical, emotional and psychological, mental and intellectual—oh, don’t you just love the drama?


Until September 4, Guggenheim Bilbao

Words by Kelsey Lee Jones


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