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Louise Bourgeois. Unconscious memories


Louise Bourgeois. Unconscious memories
Louise Bourgeois. Unconscious Memories is the first exhibition dedicated to a woman contemporary artist at the Galleria Borghese, and the first Roman exhibition of work by the French-American artist, who was one of the most influential of the last century.
Conceived by Cloé Perrone and curated with Geraldine Leardi and Philip Larratt-Smith, the exhibition, produced in collaboration with The Easton Foundation and the Academy of France – Villa Medici, focuses on Bourgeois’ great contribution to sculpture and the deep connection between her artistic practice and the Galleria Borghese.
Louise Bourgeois. Unconscious Memories interweaves the artist’s personal memory with the collective memory of the public museum: the exhibition route passes through several rooms of the Museum, the Aviary and the Meridiana Garden, a place that Bourgeois explored with admiration during her first visit to Rome in 1967.
About 20 sculptural works will be in dialogue with the unique architecture of the Casino Borghese and its collection, focusing on themes of metamorphosis, memory, and the expression of emotional and psychological states. These themes, also explored by artists in the Borghese collection, are invigorated by Bourgeois’ contemporary lens, which offers new perspectives on the human experience, thanks in part to her extraordinary diversity of forms, material, and scale, allowing her to
express a range of emotional states.
Louise Bourgeois’ (1911, Paris – 2010, New York) seven decade-long artistic career significantly advanced critical discussions of contemporary art, incorporating the themes of psychoanalysis and feminism that have since become central. In the 1960s, after a period of intense psychoanalysis, she began working with biomorphic forms, experimenting with latex, plaster, wax and other materials. In the early 1990s she presented her first group of Cells, self-contained structures, some resembling
rooms, composed of sculpted elements, found objects, and items she had kept throughout her life. Works made with fabric are from the last fifteen years of her career.
Bourgeois’ relationship with Italy and the Borghese collection significantly influenced her creative practice. Her encounter with the Borghese collection began with art history studies at the Louvre in the late 1930s and deepened between 1967 and 1972, with sojourns in Pietrasanta, Carrara, and other cities in the region, where she worked in various studios and created numerous works in bronze and marble. She began visiting Italy again a decade later, producing several more sculptures between 1981 and 1991.
With the exhibition Louise Bourgeois. Unconscious Memories, the Galleria Borghese confirms the importance of the relationship between ancient and contemporary art, becoming a place of encounter and dialogue between Masters from different eras and backgrounds. Today’s contemporary installations reaffirm and actualize what the Gallery embodied for Scipione Borghese: a treasure chest of personal possessions and a place to guard a legacy that must be constantly renewed, fostering new readings of its history and art history.
On the occasion of the exhibition, the Academy of France – Villa Medici is also hosting a work by the artist, set up in the Salon de lecture: No Exit, which consists of a staircase framed laterally by panels and two large spheres located at the foot of the stair. Hanging in the underside of the staircase are two heart-shaped rubber forms, elements that are well concealed but can be peeked at through a small door behind the structure.
During the exhibition, those who present the Galleria Borghese ticket at the Villa Medici ticket office will be entitled to a discount, 8€ instead of 10€.

The exhibition was made possible thanks to the support of FENDI, the official sponsor.
The exhibition is accompanied by a program of meetings titled Esistere come donna, organized by Electa. Download the program here
Hospitality partner of the exhibition: Hotel Eden, Dorchester Collection.



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