Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Last Time I was In Paris...

Uhm...I wrote this Paris post 2 months ago, but since this show is still up I'll post it anyway. On March 17, 2008 I wrote:
I totally forgot to tell you that last week after I finished the monster book project, I hopped on a train and spent two days in Paris. As usual I managed to make my way over to the Centre Pompidou. I love that mangled inside-out building with all of its pipes and tubing. And like a kid, I love taking the escalators up to each floor.

Anyway, this time, I went to checkout the Louise Bourgeois retrospective:

"This March, the Centre Pompidou will be presenting the first extensive retrospective showcasing Louise Bourgeois' work since the exhibition that the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris held in 1995. This retrospective has been organised with the London Tate Modern and will feature around 200 sculptures, paintings, drawings and engravings she produced between 1940 and 2007, with a special focus on the past decade and this 95-year-old artist's knack for relentlessly rejuvenating her artistic language."

It was an interesting show that included a bit of everything- Drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation-- everything really. I liked some of her very early paintings from the 1970’s, and then I really enjoyed the large spidery sculptures as well. I mean---really spooky stuff, and perfectly installed at the Pompidou I might add.

One thing that really struck me was how fearless and playful Bourgeois was in all of her work. She really was willing to try anything, explore and talk about anything, and just work with an idea in as many different ways as possible. The diversity of materials and forms was really impressive.

The other thing that really stuck with me was the artist herself. The length and depth of her career are quite impressive. Here is a woman that started studying at the Sorbonne when she was 15 years old and then just never stopped making art. Even in spite of the fact that for two decades, after her professional debut, she as wholly ignored by the art powers-that-be, she just kept making art!

I kept thinking to myself: Wow, what does it take to keep making art for two decades without any professional validation? What does it take to just keep going on your merry way regardless of reward or lack there of?

Clearly, you can’t get far in this line of work without just trusting yourself, trusting your own voice, and having blind faith in what you do. Of course, this is all easier said than done.

Louise Bourgeois in 1990 with her marble sculpture "Eye to Eye" (1970). © ADAGP, Paris, 2008. © Photo: Raimon Ramis.

1 comment:

muslimahlocs said...

centre pompidou is like a playground for kids, young and old. i found everything about it fun, even the escalator ride.