The late Louise Bourgeois will be remembered as a founder of confessional art. She continued working right up until her death in May 2010, with her last project finished only the week before. During the creation of her final set of prints she handed them to Tracey Emin who eventually added to the work, admitting: ‘I carried the images around the world with me from Australia to France, but I was too scared to touch them’.

The joint collection of 16 drawings explores themes of identity, sexuality and the fear of loss and abandonment.

Bourgeois began by painting male and female torsos in profile and mixing red, blue and black gouache pigments with water to create delicate silhouettes. Emin used fantasy to draw smaller figures engaged with the torsos, like Lilliputian lovers, enacting the body as desires and anxieties. In one drawing a woman kisses an erect phallus. In another, a small foetus-like form protrudes from a swollen stomach. In many of Emin’s pictures her handwriting accompanies the image as narrative, which puts into words the emotions expressed in Bourgeois’ gouaches.

Please be aware that the exhibition contains themes of an adult nature and may not be suitable for children.

With thanks to Hauser & Wirth.

2 September - 23 October 2011

Admission prices

  • Adults: £5
  • Concessions: £3
  • Unlimited repeat visits ticket: £8
    (just for this exhibition)
  • Free for friends, UWE students and Filton students

Opening times

Monday - Saturday, 9.30am - 5.30pm
Sunday, 12 - 5pm
Last admission half an hour before closing