Sunday, 3 March 2019

Louise Bourgeois I Julie Mehretu

Spider I, 1995

To Kettle's Yard, after the Fitzwilliam whilst in Cambridge, to catch the double header of Louise Bourgeois and Julie Mehretu. There was a lovely quote from Jim Ede, founder of Kettle's Yard on the exterior of the gallery below, and with an invitation like that I couldn't help but step right in. It is such a shame that in the redevelopment of this place that the gallery spaces appear to have been sacrificed and reduced. The current exhibition is spread across both major exhibition spaces with each artist having their own gallery space. The works of both artist actually complements the other leading to an interesting dialogue between subject matter and means of execution.

Artist Rooms: Louise Bourgeois

This exhibition is part of the Tate touring programme - Artists Rooms, and includes examples of Bourgeois's painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking. I adore her Spider sculptures, and was happy to see one lying in wait, high up in a corner of the gallery waiting to pounce. I also liked the humour in her invitingly tactile Tits sculpture which I had never seen before. A L'Infini, the large suite of etchings overlaid with drawing and paint, occupies most of the gallery space and contains many of Bourgeois' signature motifs such as the spiral, knotted tubes, and references to the female body. This series from Bourgeois' oeuvre works so well with those of Mehretu in the next gallery.

Spider I, 1995

Tits, 1967

Couple I, 1996

A L'Infini, 2008-2009 

Cell XIV (Portrait), 2000 - detail

Cell XIV (Portrait), 2000

Untitled, 1946-1947

Untitled (Safety Pins), 1991

The Stretch, 2006

Are You in Orbit? (#2), 2007 and Are You in Orbit? (#1), 2007

Julie Mehretu: Drawings for Helen's Room, 2018
Drawings and Monotypes

These drawings and monotypes were wonderfully expressionistic and frenetic in their energy, evoking a sense of the rhythm and colour of Kandinsky even though they are monochromatic. These works contain some wonderful mark-making, and it is great to come across yet another exhibition highlighting the importance of drawing in its own right as an artistic practice.

Artist Rooms: Louise Bourgeois
Julie Mehretu: Drawings and Monotypes
until 24th March
Kettle's Yard
Castle Street