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Xavier Hufkens

Louise Bourgeois / Jenny Holzer The Violence of Handwriting Across a Page

February 19—May 15 2022
Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland

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Jenny Holzer (b. 1950), one of the leading contemporary artists of her generation, has curated an exhibition of the work of Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010), widely regarded as one of the most important and influential artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Holzer is internationally renowned for her exploration and subversion of public language through the use of nontraditional forms, from street signs and T-shirts to projections and LEDs. Bourgeois’s psychologically charged work deals with the realm of human emotion: love, desire, dependency, sexuality, rejection, jealousy, and abandonment. Here, in an unprecedented encounter between two giants of American art, the Kunstmuseum Basel presents Bourgeois’s work as seen through Holzer’s eyes.

Holzer approaches Bourgeois’s art through the lens of her extensive writing: Bourgeois’s vast archive ranges from decades of diaries and letters to several hundred psychoanalytic writings, and she frequently incorporated the written word into her art. Works from all stages of Bourgeois’s oeuvre — sculptures, installations, paintings, drawings, prints, and texts — have been selected to create a series of thematic groupings in the galleries of the Neubau.