QMA Gallery, Doha
January 20 – June 1, 2012
Katara Building 10, Doha Qatar.

This exhibition is the first solo survey in the Middle East of the work of Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), one of the most influential and groundbreaking artists of the 20th century. Curated by Philip Larratt-Smith, the show features approximately 30 works from all periods of the artist’s long career, including sculptures, installations, drawings and fabric works from 1947 to 2009. It was conceived to offer a representative survey of Louise Bourgeois’s highly autobiographical and diverse body of work, which addresses themes of motherhood, identity, memory, and the cycles of life. Her work is characterized by raw emotional content and formal invention, hovering between figuration and abstraction, the geometric and the organic, the bodily and the architectural.

In her art, Bourgeois found sculptural equivalents for her psychological states, creating a symbolic language that is both universal and uniquely her own. The exhibition title Conscious and Unconscious refers to the psychological implications of Bourgeois’s art, which gave her insight into her actions, motivations, and emotions. It also encapsulates the dynamic of Bourgeois’s creative process, as she oscillated between making rational decisions and blindly following her intuition to arrive at a form that expressed her deep unconscious. According to Bourgeois, the artist enjoys the privilege of access to the unconscious. She also believed that art offered her a way to exorcise anxiety and the powerful fear of abandonment that plagued her since childhood. Although she underwent analysis for many years, she felt that art was her true form of psychoanalysis and a guarantee of sanity.