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April 11, 2020

Louise Bourgeois Drawings: Online Exhibition

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From the Guardian:

The French American artist Louise Bourgeois spent her life making artwork — mostly alone — in her New York studio.

Now, with a global pandemic, and the country on lockdown, it's an arguably perfect time to look back on some of her drawings, which capture the poetry of solitude.

To celebrate her work, the New York gallery Hauser & Wirth has launched its first online exhibition, "Louise Bourgeois: Drawings, 1947-2007," showcasing 14 drawings [exemplars above and below] from the artist's long career, which spanned seven decades.

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The gallery is calling it an online exhibit presentation and the drawings are featured alongside a short documentary of the artist in her studio.

"It's a response to the current situation, in the sense that we're all glued to our devices," said Marc Payot, president of Hauser & Wirth. "Obviously, we're not capable of going out into museums and galleries, but we're still interested in art. This is a possibility to share that."

The drawings on view range from abstract landscapes to strange swirls, black holes, and a pair of eyes gazing back at the viewer.

There's a pink butterfly, grass-strewn landscapes,  and one that simply says: I Love You.

"With drawing, she was capable of dealing with her anxieties," said Payot. "To some extent, it has a nice parallel in what we're all going through, collectively and individually. This selection of drawings is a great mirror for our current day-to-day."

There's one piece from 1986 called Spit or Star (below),

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which depicts two pairs of scissors, large and small, referencing her own family history in the French tapestry business.

Often, her reference to the tools of the trade are connected to emotional repair, rebuilding, and self-healing.

"Scissors are an aggressive tool of cutting, but they were also a familiar, tender thing with her family business," said Payot. "It's both."

There's also a red and blue landscape, Untitled, from 1970, which calls to mind the curves of a woman's body.

"That's something repeating throughout her oeuvre, the body," said Payot. "This piece is 50 years old, but looks like something out of a young artist's studio from Brooklyn."

Bourgeois, who was born in 1911 in Paris, started drawing as a child, and helped her parents through the day-to-day of their tapestry business, drawing templates for torn fabrics that needed repairing.

Later, after becoming an artist in her own right, her drawings became the starting point for her larger artworks, like her steel and bronze sculptures.

But her drawings were also a daily meditation.

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"The drawings really had a healing effect, as she was overcoming pain and anxiety through her drawing," said Payot. "We all need this, these days."

Though she had her first solo show in 1945 at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery in New York, it wasn't until the Museum of Modern Art gave Bourgeois a retrospective in 1982, when she was already 70, that she took the art world by storm, riding the wave as a global art star until her death in 2010.

Drawings were a daily ritual of the artist, and she used ink, watercolor, and pencil to record her thoughts through images and words.

"I need to make things," she once said. "The physical interaction with the medium has a curative effect. I need the physical acting out. I need to have these objects exist in relation to my body."

Payot said that she hosted social gatherings for artists in her studio, where they would discuss artworks, like an old school Parisian salon.

Bourgeois would often criticize other artists and their artworks.

"That was her way to communicate and be in touch with the world," he said. "But most of the time, she was isolated, interested in her work and not anything else."

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Though Bourgeois made much of her artwork about her childhood trauma and the complicated relationship between her mother and father, she also made artwork about the years her mother was critically ill from influenza and Bourgeois took care of her (sadly, her mother Joséphine died when her daughter was just 22).

Drawings were essential to her artistic process.

They were often the start to her paintings and prints, even after she turned to sculpture in the 1940s.

Some of these works, too, started as drawings.

Her most well-known pieces, themed around a spider motif, started out as an ink and charcoal drawing in 1947.

Though she kept a written diary and a spoken diary (where she recorded her voice on to a tape recorder), her drawn diary was the most important to her.

"Having these diaries means that I keep my house in order," she said.

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The online exhibition is free, the way we like it.

My 2004, 2005, and 2020 posts featuring this remarkable artist are here, here, and here.

April 11, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Apple Watch Easter Egg


"A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two is never sure."

Above, one of my favorite quotes, source unknown.

Why did I open with it?

Because it's a perfect introduction to an appreciation of a wonderful Easter egg I discovered inadvertently a couple months ago.

Back story: last year — two years after it was introduced in 2017 — I bought an Apple Watch Series 3 on sale for about $175.

I liked it so much, I sprang for a Series 5 with all the LTE bells and whistles and a relatively giant screen, almost twice the display area of the Series 3.

One day, after I switched watches (the Series 3 is light and almost unnoticeable when worn; the heavier, bigger Series 5 is much easier to control when I'm listening to music on AirPods while running, because the controls on the display are so much larger), I activated the heart rate screen on the 5 (top), having just put it on, and amazingly, all of a sudden, the data from the hours previous, while I was wearing the 3, appeared.


I have no idea how that works — Bluetooth? NFC? — but it is sublime.

I've never seen it mentioned anywhere.


Yesterday at this time:

You ask, how did I know you were looking at a screen?

Think about it.

Answer here this time tomorrow.

It is "this time tomorrow."

Answer: the same way I know you're looking at one now.

Think about it.

April 11, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Flaked out throwdown: Google Glass v iPhone

Above, what the iPhone XS Max recorded.


as seen through Google Glass.

It was interesting to see the differences between the two, shot within minutes of each other.

April 11, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"The Need" — Helen Phillips


Any book that evokes the Strugatsky brothers' singular "Roadside Picnic" automatically becomes compelling.

This is the best treatment of the possibility of parallel universes a là Hugh Everett's "Many Worlds" hypothesis that I've ever encountered in popular literature.

Read "Roadside Picnic,"


the mother of all wondrous novels, here.

Free, the way we like it.

April 11, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

White Hell Jigsaw Puzzle


• 1,000 pieces


• Finished size: 14.96" x 10.23" 


• Completed puzzle is suitable for display*



*Sharp-eyed readers will have noted that the bed in the photo above would be about 21" wide if proportional to the 14.96"-wide puzzle

And wait a second — what's that book I'm remembering?

And that music...

But wait: there's more!

[via my Crack Pittsburgh Correspondent©®]

April 11, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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