Louise Bourgeois at the MoMA, For Whom are Exhibitions Created? 

Dr. Elin Lake-Ewald 

Ph.D., ASA, FRICS

 For Louise Bourgeois, whose mother was a tapestry restorer,, sewing and spinning a web were intertwined

For Louise Bourgeois, whose mother was a tapestry restorer,, sewing and spinning a web were intertwined

Not sure if it’s okay to comment on an exhibition that I spent little more than an hour visiting, but my initial reaction to the Louise Bourgeois exhibition at the MoMA was sort of a letdown. I’ve been up and down about her work over the years, but not certain that this show did much on the upscale side. 

The emphasis on prints and drawings, with an interspersing of small sculptures and a giant spider in the Atrium, did not inspire so much as diminish my feelings, in reverse of my reaction to her Guggenheim retrospective in 2008.

For whom are these exhibitions created? Signage along the way would indicate the audience addressed is that of the latently curious, who truly want to understand but who will not be greatly enlightened by what they read. Perhaps the exit sign should provide a list of books and articles that anyone who is truly interested in the work of the artist might visit. Bourgeois led a long artistic life and she has much to tell us, but not today.