The Little-Known Holograms of Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois (French/American 1911-2010) is a renowned artist who was prolific across many mediums including, sculpture, painting and printmaking. Utilizing her personal history, Bourgeois' works confront issues of memory, feminism, pain and family.
Currently on view at Cheim & Read are Louise Bourgeois’ holograms. A lesser known area of her oeuvre, Bourgeois’ holograms have a hauntingly beautiful presence that is imbued with a psychological quality that is signature to her work. Created in 1998, these eight holograms depict scenes of explicit intimacy and confinement. As holograms, the works are indecipherable until the viewer is directly in front of the piece. It is then that the works turn from black frames to vibrant red tableaux that appear to extend beyond the flat surface of their frame, inviting the viewer to enter into their world. Since these works are small in scale, each measuring roughly 11” by 14”, only one viewer is able to visually enter the scene at a given time.
Three of the works depict two pairs of intertwined feet on a metal bed; placed at the center of the room is sculpture of the same imagery. The remaining five holograms depict chairs, which Bourgeois has humanized. In one work the chairs are arranged around a bell jar suggesting a meeting of some sort; inside the bell jar another chair appears to be trapped. Another piece shows a giant chair with three miniature chairs huddled beneath its seat suggesting a maternal relationship. Perhaps the most powerful hologram is that which depicts a single chair placed in the corner of a barren room. This solitary object is accompanied only by its shadow, which projects onto the wall conveying a self-reflective state. The emotive quality of these eight scenes is enhanced by their vibrant red glow.
Louise Bourgeois: Holograms is on view at Cheim & Read until February 11, 2017.