Louise Bourgeois: Works on Paper from the 1940’s and 1950’s, features an important group of 35 drawings that engage an array of subjects Bourgeois has addressed throughout her long career. For Bourgeois, drawings are not mere preparatory studies for her sculptures, but independent, graphic compositions. In this show some of the earliest manifestations of themes and motifs still prevalent in her work today are on display. Several of these drawings even precede her first exhibited sculptures of the late 1940s.
The drawings, most of which have rarely been publicly shown, are inhabited by abstracted portraits and images inspired by the landscape of Bourgeois’ childhood home in the Creuse region of central France. The repetitive, rhythmic patterns of black ink lines suggest undulating hills, hanging plants, knotted hair, and arid soil. These forms pulsate and move in uneasy waves. Like most of Bourgeois’ art, the drawings presented here are rife with allusions and deeply autobiographical references.