Starting from 2013, the Rijksmuseum has been holding outdoor exhibitions devoted to the works by an artist once every year. The previous exhibitions were devoted to Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, Giuseppe Penone, Jean Dubuffet, and Eduardo Chillida. The seventh one in its series of annual exhibitions is “Louise Bourgeois in the Rijksmuseum Gardens”.
Louise Bourgeois is an important woman artist of the 1900’s. She became world-famous for her sculptures of spiders. The outdoor exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Gardens features twelve sculptures made by this French-American artist. Many of the artworks have been shown for the first time in the Netherlands.
About the Artist
Louise Bourgeois grew up among a family of tapestry restorers and dealers in Paris. When at the School of the Louvre and the School of Fine Arts, Bourgeois studied at the ateliers of artists, like Fernand Léger to name one. In 1938, after her marriage to art historian Robert Goldwater, Bourgeois emigrated to the US. She deliberately distanced herself from the then American art movements, so it took time for her work to be acknowledged. In spite of having many shows devoted to her from 1945 onwards, her fame started to spread only in the 1970’s.
A Monographic Exhibition at the Rijksmuseum
It is uncommon that one artist’s body of work so closely reflects their life that it appears to embody specific feelings and events. The sculptures displayed at the museum form a journal of themes that recur in the work and life of Bourgeois. Many of the sculptures relate to her childhood, for instance.
The monumental sculptures “Crouching Spider”, “Spider” and “Spider Couple” can be thought of as homage to Bourgeois’s protective mother. The aluminum sculptures, which hang from the wingnut tree branches at the gardens, allude to her dad’s routine of storing furniture upon roof beams in their attic. Bourgeois’s own youth and motherhood are the recurring themes in her work, as are friendship, fear, the body and materiality.
Until November 03, 2019, you can reserve a guided Rijksmuseum tour that takes you through the exhibition of sculptures. The tour costs €75 for up to 15 individuals, and it has to be booked at least 14 days beforehand. It can be reserved for any day for the time slots: 09:30 am to 10:30 am, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, and 02:30 pm to 03:30 pm.