Louise Bourgeois. Structures of Existence: The Cells

Louise Bourgeois. Structures of Existence: The Cells

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Louise Bourgeois, Cell (The Last Climb), 2008.*

August 25, 2015

Louise Bourgeois
Structures of Existence: The Cells

September 25, 2015—February 7, 2016

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art 
Gorky Park
9/32 Krymsky Val 
119049 Moscow
Hours: Monday–Thursday 11–21h,
Friday–Sunday 11–22h

T +7 495 645 05 20


On September 25, 2015, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art will present the first comprehensive survey of Louise Bourgeois’ work in Moscow as part of the special program of the 6th Moscow Biennale. Structures of Existence: The Cells focuses on the extraordinary series of sculptural environments Bourgeois created in the last two decades of her life. Also included in the exhibition are the early sculptures, paintings, and drawings which led to the development of this monumental and innovative body of work. To complement and expand on themes in the exhibition, Garage has collaborated with the Louise Bourgeois Trust and The Easton Foundation to present two large-scale sculptures: the monumental bronze spider Maman (1999) and the international debut of Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day? (2007), included as part of Garage’s Atrium Commission series. 

In keeping with the artist’s intentions, Garage’s unique presentation of the exhibition will display the works in raw environments. “When I began building the Cells, I wanted to create my own architecture, and not depend on the museum space, not have to adapt my scale to it,” explained Bourgeois. “I wanted to constitute a real space which you could enter and walk around in.”

Each Cell is a unique, individual microcosm encompassing a range of emotions and associations. There are 55 works in the series, for which Bourgeois assembled found objects, artifacts from her daily life (clothing, fabric, and furniture), and her own sculptures within distinctive architectural enclosures. In many of the works, she references her childhood, encapsulating motifs and interests that she explored throughout her career, such as architecture, the body, emotions, memory, and the five senses.

Towering more than nine meters high, Maman (1999) will greet visitors in Gorky Park’s Garage Square before entering the museum. One of Bourgeois’ most ambitious and recognizable works, Maman balances perilously above the ground on eight spindly legs, shielding a mesh sac containing ten marble eggs below her abdomen. Vulnerable yet predatory, the figure of the spider is Bourgeois’ tribute to her beloved mother, who was a tapestry weaver.

Has the Day Invaded the Night or Has the Night Invaded the Day? (2007) is comprised of a giant, pivoting mirror standing over 6 meters high. The work’s title—taken from the artist’s diary entry on February 7, 1995—is projected onto the glass. Fascinated by mirrors as symbols of truth and self-knowledge, Bourgeois used them frequently in the Cell installations in order to bring the viewer directly into an environment. Placed in the Museum’s Entrance Hall, this larger-than-life mirror incorporates the visitor and the surrounding building into the world of the artist, while the reflected question introduces the perceptual nuances inherent to Bourgeois’ work. One of the artist’s last works, this never-before-seen sculpture will be presented as an exclusive element to the exhibition at Garage.

A Russian-language edition of the catalog for Louise Bourgeois. Structures of Existence: The Cells, published in English by Haus der Kunst and Prestel, will be produced to coincide with the exhibition at Garage.

Organized by Haus der Kunst, Munich in collaboration with Garage, Structures of Existence: The Cells is the largest presentation of this body of work to date.

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Founded in 2008 by Dasha Zhukova, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art is a non-profit project of The IRIS Foundation. In June 2015, Garage moved to its first permanent home—a groundbreaking preservation project by Rem Koolhaas—that transforms the famous 1968 Vremena Goda (Seasons of the Year) Soviet Modernist restaurant in Gorky Park into a contemporary museum. 

Nadine Johnson
Nadine Johnson Inc.
T +1 212 228 5555 / garage@nadinejohnson.com

*Louise Bourgeois, Cell (The Last Climb), 2008. Steel, glass, rubber, thread and wood, 384.8 x 400.1 x 299.7 cm. Collection National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Photo: Christopher Burke. © The Easton Foundation. Licensed by RAO.

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art presents Louise Bourgeois. Structures of Existence: The Cells
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Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
August 25, 2015

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