HOURS OF THE DAY
Nov 18, 2007 - Feb 2, 2008
Carolina Nitsch is pleased to present Hours of the Day
, 2006, an installation by Louise
Bourgeois. This exhibition inaugurates Carolina Nitsch Project Room, the gallery’s new
additional space devoted to special projects and located in Chelsea.
Themes of time and memory have been a consistent presence in the work of Louise
Bourgeois, though her forms and materials have varied over the past seven decades;
as she once stated ‘I travel in time, not in space’. Hours of the Day is a continuation of
Bourgeois’ engagement with the passage of time. The installation comprises a series of
printed individual fabric diptychs – and a fabric book - in which Bourgeois juxtaposes
each hour with text written by her.
Being a chronic sufferer of insomnia, Bourgeois is acutely aware of her sensations and
surroundings, these only magnified during the long, lonely hours of the night. The passing
of time, her memories, the qualities of changing light and ambient sounds are registered
in Hours of the Day coupled with her captivating words. The recall of memories is
inherently conflicted for Bourgeois – the fear of losing her memories – as well as her desire
to forget painful experiences to achieve a place of peace.
As Deborah Wye, Chief Curator of the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at The
Museum of Modern Art has aptly recognized, printmaking for Bourgeois, unlike most
artists, has always been an important and intimate experience, indeed ‘this medium has
bracketed her artistic life - she depended on printmaking in her earliest years and does
so again now, in old age.
Carolina Nitsch and Lison Edition, New York published Hours of the Day in 2006.
The project was conceived as a 25 cloth panel installation in an edition of 7 (each 17-1/2
x 27”), as well as a cloth book in an edition of 15 (14-3/4 x 12 x 2-3/4”), both of which will
be on view.
Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. Initially studying advanced mathematics at the
Sorbonne, Bourgeois later studied art at the Ecole du Louvre. After marrying the
American art historian Robert Goldwater she moved to New York in 1938 where she has
lived since. In addition to traditional materials Bourgeois has continued to explore her
emotions and memories through a wide range of forms and materials, from latex, rubber,
cloth, steel, found objects, with printmaking being an integral medium in her artistic
practice along with sculpture. Bourgeois’ first major work was the set of etchings He
Disappeared into Complete Silence (1947). She published this suite at the same time
that she created the ‘personage’ sculptures for her solo exhibition at the Peridot Gallery,
New York. (1949). These figures were conceived as an environmental installation; with the
personage Sleeping Figure, 1947-49 later being acquired for The Museum of Modern Art’s
collection by Alfred J. Barr Jr., the museum’s first director.
At age 71 Bourgeois was the first woman to be accorded a retrospective at The Museum
of Modern Art. On the occasion of Bourgeois’ 90th birthday, an exhibition of her work was
held in 2001 at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg in Russia. A retrospective of
Bourgeois’ work is currently showing at the Tate Modern, London. This exhibition will travel
in 2008 to The Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York,
the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and in 2009 to the Hirshhorn Museum &
Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.
Press Release in Pdf format
Samples from the book