all images: Louise Bourgeois, TOPIARY, THE ART OF IMPROVING NATURE (details), 1998, Portfolio of nine copper plate etchings: drypoint and aquatint, 39 12" x 27 3/4". Collection The Easton Foundation, Photo: Christopher Burke, © Louise Bourgeois Trust / Licensed by VAGA, NY

November 7-December 13, 2012

Internationally renowned artist Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911. Although she lived in New York from 1938 and until her death in 2010, much of her inspiration was derived from her early childhood in France. Using the body as a primary form, Bourgeois explored the full range of the human condition. From poetic drawings to room size installations, she was able to give her fears a physical form in order to exorcise them. Memories, sexuality, love and abandonment are the core of her complex body of work. Her work appears in collections worldwide, and in 2007 she was the subject of a major travelling retrospective organized by the Tate Modern in London and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

This exhibition celebrates a prime example of Louise Bourgeois’ innovative and ground breaking print work. Topiary, a portfolio comprised of nine large-scale copper plate etchings originally commissioned to benefit the Whitney Museum of American Art, graces the collections of the Tate Modern, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to display this portfolio in its entirety. Bourgeois’ work has formed the flashpoint for a renewed interest in the field of printmaking, a renewed interest which has pushed traditional conceptions and boundaries, inspiring a new generation of artists to create prints.

As Bourgeois (1911-2010) herself once said, “…my work is suggestive, it is not explicit.” In this same spirit, the University of Arkansas Fine Arts Gallery presents this collection of prints as a tribute to what has been achieved, and suggestive of what potential lies ahead.

The Gallery wishes to acknowledge the Easton Foundation and The Louise Bourgeois Studio for the loan of this portfolio.

_Cynthia Nourse Thompson