Before they seemingly bowed out of regular publication with their 'Manhattan Issue', Acne Paper presented a magnificent feature on the soft sculptures of Louise Bourgeois, seen here from an Au Courant Studio Archives copy of the 'Body Issue'. Replicating the brooding, visceral complexities of Bourgeois' textile and form-based sculptures, each image reveals the raw, heavy-handed stitch used in an attempt to hobble together a semblance of order across the disparate swaths of materials often culled from Bourgeois' own belongings, and within the artist's fractured psychological state.
The forms are undeniably feminine and maternal: strong, vulnerable, ferocious, nurturing, majestic. These are a woman's most private, volatile moments - those which occur within her own body and mental state - laid bare and painful and taut. Together, the works stand as a more realistic creation myth illuminated through Bourgeois' rough forms of pregnant, faceless beings, labouring bodies, dangling babies and the like.
The soft sculptural form normally invites touch, but these charged works with their tense realities, misshapen bodies and savagely hewn seams are barbed and out-of-reach; these are not for our own edification, but for Bourgeois' own enlightenment and salvation. Any transformation we gain in viewing the works are purely coincidental. Thus, to see them exposed - even within the respectable pages of Acne Paper - feels a tad bit prying.
But given Bourgeois' inclinations for skewering her past without exception, sharing these works might be more of an honor than a disservice to her oeuvre.