Tiny blue heads and voluptuous red bodies: Louise Bourgeois at Xavier Hufkens (Brussels)

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‘I organize a sculpture the way we organize a treatment for the sick. You’d better know what you’re doing.’ Visiting Les têtes bleues et les femmes rouges at Xavier Hufkens (Brussels; through October 31) made me take Louise Bourgeois‘ book Writings and interviews 1923-1997 out of my bookcase at home, and read a couple of pages. It’s that kind of show. One that stays with you. With some really beautiful works, installed in a subtle way. I just love how the blue (Tête I) and red (Pregnant Woman and The Family) meet, for instance, in the last room. But anyway. The exhibition brings together some late works (2004-2009) by this extraordinary artist (1911-2010): fabric and stainless steel sculptures (Les têtes bleues) and gouaches (Les femmes rouges). She began making the fabric heads when she was in her eighties; the blue representing melancholia, suffering and acedia. Her red gouaches, of course, show her preoccupation with sexuality, pregnancy, motherhood and the cycles of life. The kind of works you’d otherwise go to a museum for. So: not to miss. (all images: courtesy Xavier Hufkens, Brussels)


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