Louise Bourgeois, Saudi soft power and Gerhard Richter at 90
As a show looking at Louise Bourgeois’s late-career obsession with textiles opens at the Hayward Gallery in London—ahead of other exhibitions of her work in Basel and New York—we look at the French-American artist’s fabric-related creations with Jerry Gorovoy, who worked with Bourgeois for 30 years and is now President of the foundation that manages her legacy. A host of contemporary art shows have just opened in Saudi Arabia. But does this, as some commentators have said, mark a new era in the country’s approach to culture, or is it “artwashing” the country’s record on human rights abuses? We ask The Art Newspaper’s chief contributing editor, Gareth Harris, who has travelled to the Middle Eastern country to find out. And in this episode’s Work of the Week, Dietmar Elger, the curator of the Gerhard Richter Archive in Dresden, Germany, discusses Fels, a three-metre-tall abstract painting from 1989, which is at the heart of a new show curated by Richter at the Albertinum in the eastern German city.
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