Louise Bourgois and Chuck Close (in two solo shows) at the White Cube, Hoxton. Review by Grace Giardina
has been concentrating on portraiture and on the physiological construct
of the human face for decades. He has worked through several various styles
of painting including an intense neo-realism in the 1970's and later a
form of pointillism, in which the work was created using paint applied
on the fingertips! One can lose track of time standing up close to a Close,
gazing at it's almost hallucigenic shapes and colours. Then viewing the
same painting from the other side of the room, seeing how the entire portrait,
proportions and all, come perfectly together. I suggest blurring your
eyes as well, to get a sense of the depth of the painting.
Upstairs, another great artist has some of her own recent work on show.
is an outstanding artist of our time who's career has spanned over 6 decades
of movements and waves in art. I personally appreciate being able to have
had the chance to stand, in the flesh, incredibly small inside the comforting
safety of the mother-like spider, possibly the sculpture most representative
of the major fascination in Bourgeois' life.
"My father cut the shape of a girl out of a tangerine peel, and then he held it up and said, 'Look everybody, this is Louise. She has nothing! All she's got between her legs is a couple of white threads!' Everybody laughed at me." "Once when we were sitting together at the dining table, I took white bread, mixed it with spit and molded a figure of my father. When the figure was done, I started cutting off the limbs with a knife. I see this as my first sculptural solution."
can take anger and embarressment, and use it to create something beautiful
and powerful, not only holds the key to wisdom, but will forever have
a place in the art world. Within her work, Bourgois pays respect to the
Surrealists. Her voodoo doll figurines, half-woman half-machine, terrify
as they lay down the sick truth they seem to want you to understand. Bourgeois
is aware of the concerns and values of the contemporoary era. "What
modern art means is that you have to keep finding new ways of expressing
yourself, to express the problems, that there are no settled ways, no
fixed approach. This is a painful situation, and modern art is about this
painful situation of having absolutely no way of expressing yourself.
This is why modern art will continue, because this condition remains...
It is about the hurt of not being able to express yourself properly, to
express your intimate relations, your unconscious, to trust the world
enough to express yourself directly in it." Louise Bourgeois is incredibly
educated and superior in her knowledge of art and society, and her understanding
of life itself.
by Grace Giardina