Recently a friend gave me a book from an exhibition that Louise Bourgeois had in Vienna in 2005 when she was 94 years old. I had known of her sculpture, but much of the work in this book was new to me. In many of these pieces she worked with fabric and with words.
Here are selections from a book she made out of cloth called Ode A la Bièvre.
This is what she calls a fabric drawing.
Here are pages from another cloth book Ode a la Oubli, which she made in 2004. Oubli means oblivion.
Here are drawings made of lines that look like thread.
It is inspiring that she still made art in her 90’s. Great art that defies categorization! She died in 2010. She said: “My luck was that I became famous so late that fame could not destroy me.”
Here is a portrait of Louise Bourgeois from 1996.
In southern Spain and Portugal there are tiles everywhere, called Azulejos. There are tiles inside and outside of buildings.
These tiles share a quality with quilts in that the individual squares have beauty, and that beauty is amplified through repetition as larger patterns are created. As in quilts, beauty also comes from the irregularities. There is beauty in the broken tiles, the mismatched repairs and the sliding brushstrokes. Here are tiles from Lisbon, the Alentejo, Seville and Granada.
Some of the tiles are dimensional.
And some (like quilts) give the illusion of dimensionality through light and dark.
Some are geometric.
And some are narrative.
Some show the passage of time.
The connection to quilts seem implicit. I hope to design some fabric to make it explicit. Please join me for some imaginary mint tea in this courtyard to think about it.