press release

New Tate Modern
ARTIST ROOMS to be inaugurated with Louise Bourgeois exhibition

Tate announced today that Louise Bourgeois will be the first artist presented in its new gallery dedicated to ARTIST ROOMS. The exhibition will be one of the highlights of the new Tate Modern and will open on 17 June 2016.

The French-American artist’s celebrated installation I Do, I Undo, I Redo 1999-2000, which included the monumental spider Maman 1999, was the first commission for The Unilever Series in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall when the gallery first opened in 2000. Bourgeois’s major Tate retrospective was held in 2007. It is apposite that a unique selection of her work will be brought together for the first show in the new space designed exclusively as a hub for the ARTIST ROOMS collection.

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) is one of the great figures of modern and contemporary art. Highlighting her late work, the exhibition will include an outstanding group of works from ARTIST ROOMS including Couple I 1996, Cell XIV (Portrait) 2000, Eyes 2001-5, and two late masterpieces, the cycle of sixteen monumental drawings A L’Infini 2008-9 and the artist’s final vitrine, Untitled 2010. The exhibition will also feature a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ section dedicated to Bourgeois’ small sculptures and maquettes.

During a career spanning seventy years, Bourgeois produced an astonishing array of sculptures, installations, paintings, drawings and prints which express a highly individual imagination. Bourgeois constantly challenged conventional means of creating works of art, and through her unique visual language she examined the complexity of life and emotions. Working in dialogue with most of the major international avant-garde artistic movements of the twentieth century including Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism, Bourgeois always remained distinctly apart, powerfully inventive and at the forefront of contemporary practice.

The works that have been brought together as part of the ARTIST ROOMS collection include sculptures, works on paper and fabric pieces. They show how Bourgeois worked in both modern and traditional techniques, using diverse materials such as bronze, marble and fabric as well as text and drawing to investigate what it means to be human. Her imagery deals with relationships and cycles of life as well as issues concerning the body, memory, observation, surveillance and the acts of repairing and forgiveness. Ideas of womanhood and its various guises – including the roles of daughter, mother and lover – are explored through a vocabulary of recurring motifs from spiders and spirals to double forms and entwined fabric bodies.

The first dedicated space to ARTIST ROOMS will continue beyond 2016 to host fascinating exhibitions drawn from the work of the forty artists in the collection. ARTIST ROOMS is owned jointly by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland and was established through The d’Offay Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments

ARTIST ROOMS Louise Bourgeois is curated by Frances Morris, Director of Collection (International Art), Tate and Ann Coxon, Curator, Tate Modern in collaboration with Jerry Gorovoy of the artist’s foundation, The Easton Foundation. It will be on display from 17 June 2016 for a year.