Louise Bourgeois is one of the greatest and most influential artists of our time. In a career spanning seven decades, from the 1940s until her death in 2010, she produced some of contemporary art’s most enduring images, making sculptures, installations, writings and drawings which, in mining her own psyche, have entered the collective unconscious.
Bourgeois’s work is personal yet universal, rooted in the details of her own life, but reaching out to touch the lives of others. This exhibition of work on paper presents some of her most intimate work, both drawing and writing.
The exhibition begins with a labyrinthine presentation of Bourgeois’s Insomnia Drawings, a remarkable suite of 220 drawings and writings made between November 1994 and June 1995. Created in the suspended state between sleeping and waking, The Insomnia Drawings contain all the major themes of Bourgeois’s work and reveal the close link between drawing and writing that is such a key part of her practice. Also in the exhibition are two suites of large-scale works on paper, When Did This Happen? from 2007, and I Give Everything Away, made right at the end of the artist’s life in 2010. A mix of writing, drawing and printmaking, these large works are both haunted and haunting.
This exhibition complements a major ARTIST ROOMS exhibition of work by Louise Bourgeois on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – Louise Bourgeois, A Woman Without Secrets, Modern One, 26 October 2013 – 18 May 2014.
Has the day invaded the night or the night invaded the day?
Published by The Fruitmarket Gallery to accompany the exhibition, this book focuses on the themes and ideas in the exhibition. The book is illustrated with a selection of Bourgeois’s Insomnia Drawings and of her writings, and also includes new texts by Frances Morris and Philip Larratt-Smith.
Talks and Events
Wednesday 15 January 2014, 6.30pm. Free.
Exhibition curator Frances Morris (Tate) considers the work in the exhibition in light of the artist’s larger practice in conversation with Fiona Bradley, Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery.
Future Bourgeois: Panel Discussion
Friday 7 February 2014, 6pm. £5/£3 conc. (or free if attending symposium). Refreshments provided.
The artist Phyllida Barlow, the writer Elisabeth Lebovici (EHESS, Paris) and Professor Mignon Nixon (Courtauld, London) consider the current state of research on Louise Bourgeois in this panel discussion. The event brings to a close a collaborative one-day student symposium organised by the ARTIST ROOMS RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP, The Fruitmarket Gallery and National Galleries of Scotland (and held at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Modern One) that showcases new research on the artist.
Wee Small Hours
Friday 29 November, 10pm. £12/£10 conc.
Stay up all night in Louise Bourgeois: I Give Everything Away. With Book Week Scotland, we embrace insomnia starting with a welcome drink and readings before lullabies lead us into the long watch of the night with live drawing, writing, screenings, refreshments and comfy rest areas. We close with an early morning reading, coffee and croissants.
Drawing on Diaries
Tuesday 18 February 2014, 11am–5pm. Free. 12 places for 14–17 year olds.
Inspired by the exhibition, this workshop explores the autobiographical and the personal through drawing and sketchbook skills, transforming ideas into sculpture. Led by artist Juliana Capes.
Community Workshops with The Fruitmarket Gallery
Free workshops for community groups
Two-hour sessions, in your setting and the Gallery. Max 12 places.
Take part in artist-led workshops in your community setting and on a visit to The Fruitmarket Gallery. Based around our latest exhibition, two-hour sessions include making, looking at and talking about art. Visits to your setting introduce themes and activities and help inform the content of the Gallery workshop. Sessions are fun and informal and planned to meet the needs of your group.
Workshops are available for community groups of all ages from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Participants don’t need any prior experience.
For booking enquiries call 0131 226 8186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 6 February 2014, 2–3pm. Free. 10 places.
A tour of the exhibition with assistive listening devices, for visitors who are hard of hearing.
Thursday 6 February 2014, 6.30-8.30pm. Free. 10 places.
An exhibition tour designed for visually impaired visitors and open to everyone. It includes detailed descriptions of Bourgeois’s work and practice.
A portable FM hearing loop is available at all talks and events. Contact us before the event to book. Available in partnership with Artlink.
Group visits are free and include an introduction to the exhibition. Booking is essential.
All talks are recorded and are available online. To book your place call 0131 226 8181 or email email@example.com
We offer a range of resources suggesting creative activities inspired by each exhibition.
Learning Through Exhibitions
This series helps teachers and community leaders explore the exhibition in the Gallery and back home.
A free activity sheet for families and primary school groups to enjoy the exhibition together. Also available in the Gallery.