Louise Bourgeois: an unfolding portrait || Deborah Wye

There are many reasons to give this more than just a passing glance. Louise Bourgeois is, of course, the name of the moment and its appearance is therefore timely. However, with the imprint of the Museum of Modern Art, this carries considerable authority. The subtitle, Prints, Books and the Creative Process, is also something that should pique the interest.

The book is a carefully-structured account of an important part of Bourgeois’ work as well as a meticulously-reproduced catalogue raisonée – the quality of the illustrations is second to none. The main bulk is devoted to a series of Themes and Variations which divide Bourgeois’ work into a neatly-chosen set of groupings that introduce a sense of order into a career that spanned seven decades. This section is usefully followed by analyses of some of the artist’s working relationships with her assistant Jerry Gorovoy, her printer Felix Harlan and Benjamin Shiff, her publisher. These take the form of interviews that shine a light on the often symbiotic relationship that is at the heart of works whose production extends beyond the initial creator.

This is a major study of an important part of the work of one of the towering figures of Twentieth Century art.

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