Heads Up: Do not abandon me
Tracey, would you give me a hand for a moment?
Sunday 16 January 2011
What are we talking about?
During the two years before her death, Louise Bourgeois collaborated on a series of works with Tracey Emin which are to go on display at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in London in February.
Art world's grande dame passes on the paintbrush.
Bourgeois, the Franco-American sculptor whose work was both deeply respected and provocative; Emin, either the natural inheritor of Bourgeois' mantle or a mere fame-chasing provocateur, depending on your point of view.
The 16 collaborative works. Bourgeois painted a series of human torsos in a watery gouache, mostly featuring pregnant bellies and male members. She passed them on to Emin, giving her carte blanche with them. Emin – after lugging the paintings nervously around the world, "too scared to touch them" – eventually got doodling over the top, adding little line-drawings of figures or wobbly hand-written comments, which are also often rather rude.
The early buzz
The Art Newspaper, who interviewed Emin last year, reported that despite Emin saying that not many people actually want to collaborate with her, the "themes of sexuality, birth and emotional dependence nonetheless united the duo". But Charlotte Higgins, writing in a blog for The Guardian, asked: "Has Emin pulled off working with Bourgeois as an equal? Or do the words 'giant' and 'minnow' spring to mind?"
In 2005, Emin name-checked Bourgeois in her piece, The Older Woman, which included the phrase "I think my Dad should have gone out with someone older like Louise, Louise Bourgeois."
It's great that...
...the project was completed before Bourgeois' death, aged 98, in May last year. Emin took the canvases to her Manhattan bedside, and Bourgeois was reportedly very excited about finally seeing the finished works.
It's a shame that...
Emin's delicately cartoonish figures, snogging Bourgeois' watercolour willies, might prompt schoolboyish sniggers.
With just 16 images, it's hardly a major show, but a collaboration between two such iconoclasts was bound to be intriguing. Images such as a crucifix scrawled over an erect penis and titles such as When my cunt stopped living are sure to generate column inches.
Do Not Abandon Me at Hauser & Wirth, 15 Old Bond Street, London W1 (0207-399 9770, hauserwirth.com), 18 Feb to 12 Mar.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Amy Winehouse film director: 'I wanted to show the fun, bright-eyed girl we didn't know'
James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
Wireless 2015: Nicki Minaj 2 hours late to main stage due to 'travel issues'
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Contemporary art is a fraud, says top dealer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture