Louise Bourgeois : Moi, Eugénie Grandet…

Exhibition

Drawing, mixed media

Louise Bourgeois : Moi, Eugénie Grandet…

Past: November 3, 2010 → February 6, 2011

This original work especially created for the museum is not a confrontation with one of Balzac’s most famous novels but rather according to the artist an identification with Eugenie Grandet.

The preeminent contemporary artist, Louise Bourgeois wished to present an exhibit in the intimacy of the Musee Balzac. This original work especially created for the museum is not a confrontation with one of Balzac’s most famous novels but rather according to the artist an identification with Eugenie Grandet, a woman who was never given the chance to grow up.

Based on memory and childhood longings, the work of Louise Bourgeois is entirely autobiographical. Her cathartic work delves into the unconscious and the mother-child and/or father-child relationship.

“I’m working on a show about Eugénie Grandet for the Maison de Balzac in Paris, opening next November. I love that story. It could be the story of my life.”

Louise Bourgeois for The Guardian Newspaper, London, September 19th 2009

My inner life iii 13380 bs lg medium
Louise Bourgeois, My inner Life III, 2008 Eau-forte, gouache, aquarelle et crayon sur papier Courtesy the Artist and Osiris Photo: Benjamin Shiff ©Louise Bourgeois Trust / Adagp, Paris 2010

The story of the avaricious Grandet… Eugenie Grandet, famous since it’s publication in 1833 tells the story of the avaricious Grandet, a wine-grower, his wife who falls victim to his callousness and his daughter Eugenie, a kind, good and loving girl who disappointed with life isolates herself becoming a charitable but bitter spinster.

Balzac’s novel portrays different themes: family – adolescence, pain and solitude – all subjects equally present in Louise Bourgeois’ paintings as early as the end of the 1930s. While she does not proclaim herself to be a feminist she does have a keen interest in women’s issues. It’s therefore not at all surprising that Eugenie Grandet is a central character in the origin of Louise Bourgeois’ work that sees her as the prototype of the woman who has not been allowed to develop and ultimately finds her unfulfilled. Balzac’s character is a prisoner of her father who treats her like a servant. Eugenie’s destiny is that of a woman who never had the opportunity to become one…

Embroidery is one of the quintessential feminine arts and one practiced professionally by Louise Bourgeois’ mother. The artist presents a series of works, which evokes the passage of time — useless occupations — withering states and solitude. Bourgeois who works exclusively in isolation displays a keen sense of poetry with touches of humor in her intimate and secretive art.

This exhibit marks the meeting of two great artists who separated by time and space come together in their powerful analysis, lucidity and efforts to identify the most profound secrets of the human soul.

Maison de Balzac Museum
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16 Trocadéro Zoom in 16 Trocadéro Zoom out

47, rue Raynouard

75016 Paris

T. 01 55 74 41 80

Official website

La Muette
Passy

Opening hours

Every day except Monday, 10 AM – 6 PM

Admission fee

Full rate €4.00 — Concessions €3.00

L’accès aux collections permanentes est gratuit

302x284 hands on design original

The artist

  • Louise Bourgeois