THE GEMEENTEMUSEUM, The Hague, has acquired two large sculptures by the French artist Louise Bourgeois, Spider Couple (2003), from her famous spider series and Clouds and Caverns (which has never previously been exhibited) on long-term loan. The Louise Bourgeois Studio owns a number of the artist’s larger sculptures, and it loans them to only a few museums in the world. The Gemeentemuseum, already owns a sculpture by Bourgeois Cell XXVI (2003), from her celebrated later period, which was bought by the museum in 2011, with support from the Friends of the Gemeentemuseum and various funds. It is the only institution in the Netherlands to own any work by Bourgeois and, after this recent acquisition, becomes one of the Louise Bourgeois Studio’s permanent partners in Europe.
Gemeentemuseum has the world’s largest collection of Mondrians, hosts runaway shows such as the Mark Rothko exhibition and the presentation of The Vincent Award. The loan of these sculptures confirms its rising profile in the modern and contemporary art world. “The arrival of Spider Couple and Clouds and Caverns strengthens our position even further,” says director Benno Tempel.
The purchase of Cell XXVI in 2011 was the stimulus for the Double Sexus exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum, in which the Bourgeois was closely involved. When she died shortly before the opening, at the age of 98 in 2010, the museum completed preparations for the exhibition with the Louise Bourgeois Studio. The Gemeentemuseum’s close relationship with the artist and the studio has now been cemented by the long-term loan. The two sculptures now occupy a place of honour among the permanent exhibit of modern art.
by Caroline Simpson