18 November 2023 – 11 February 2024
Open daily* | FREE entry

A new exhibition opening at the Burton includes sculptures, prints and drawings by the acclaimed French-American artist Louise Bourgeois. Eight decades of intense creativity firmly established Louise Bourgeois as a giant of 20th century art. Through this exhibition, the Burton at Bideford makes her ground-breaking work freely available to the people of North Devon for the first time.

ARTIST ROOMS Louise Bourgeois opens at the Burton at Bideford Art Gallery and Museum on Friday 17 November, 6-8pm, and runs until 11 February 2024. Admission is free.

Born in Paris in 1911, Bourgeois settled in New York in 1938, where she remained for the rest of her life, continuing to make art until her death at the age of 98. Her endlessly inventive work, inspired by her memories and experiences, spanned monumental installations, figurative sculptures, fabric collages, and drawings. She is perhaps best known for the large-scale spider sculptures that she produced in the last decades of her life, including one she created for the opening of Tate Modern in 2000.

Bourgeois’s art was closely bound up with her life, and she used artmaking as a way to make sense of her experiences. Her sculpture, drawing, and writing are characterised by emotional honesty, and she reworked her ideas in different forms and materials including marble, bronze, latex, and fabric, compelled by the need to make and re-make.

This exhibition focuses on works produced during the last 20 years of her life, a period of extraordinary creativity, during which Bourgeois re-examined many of her lifelong concerns to create a body of powerful new work exploring identity, gender, childhood, family and motherhood. Personal, provocative and raw, Bourgeois’s work reaches us with a powerful immediacy more than a decade after her death.

ARTIST ROOMS presents the work of international artists in solo exhibitions drawn from a national touring collection jointly owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland. This exhibition is drawn from the ARTIST ROOMS collection and includes works on loan from The Easton Foundation and Tate. This is the Burton at Bideford’s third collaboration with Tate and National Galleries of Scotland through the ARTIST ROOMS programme, and follows presentations of internationally renowned artists Richard Long (2014) and Diane Arbus (2018).

Warren Collum, Interim Co-Director of the Burton, said:

“Working in partnership with Tate and National Galleries of Scotland through the ARTIST ROOMS programme for the third time to present one of the twentieth century’s most influential female sculptors, Louise Bourgeois, is a unique opportunity. This show not only celebrates art but also emphasises the need to bring culture to rural areas, as well as putting a light on the strength and ingenuity of women in the creative world.”

The ARTIST ROOMS programme provides support for young people to get involved in creative projects, discover more about art and artists, and learn new skills. A Burton Youth Collective will be supported through ARTIST ROOMS by Art Fund and Henry Moore Foundation, providing local teenagers with the opportunity to explore a career in the arts, experience life behind the scenes of an arts organisation, and work alongside practising artists. Sessions are open to young people aged 13-19 years. Places are limited and anyone interested is advised to contact the gallery to check availability and register their interest.


* Opening hours may vary over the festive period