Lecture by Frances Morris: Louise Bourgeois: Tate Modern, Towers and the Mother of all spiders


From 27 November 2015




Garage Auditorium


Louise Bourgeois was the first artist to take on Tate Modern’s great Turbine Hall and when the new museum opened in May 2000 Bourgeois giant spider Maman and her three house-size towers I do, I undo, I redo were the first works of art to greet the museum’s thousands of visitors. Frances Morris, Director of Collection, International Art at Tate, commissioned the work as the first in the now famous series of Unilever installations, and worked with the artist and her team to realize this landmark site-specific project. Although her most ambitious works to date both Maman and I do, I undo, I redo have complex roots in Bourgeois earliest practice and would have been inconceivable without the experimental series of Cells which they follow. Frances will discuss challenges presented by the artist’s proposal and assess its place in the artist’s work. You can see Maman at Garage and also the models which were made in preparation for the other large works.

Small-scale models of the enormous towers I DoI Undo, and I Redo can be seen in the Wunderkammer on the third floor of the Museum. Garage is also presenting the monumental bronze spider Maman (1999), which you can see on the square in front of the Museum.


Frances Morris — director of Collection, International Art, Tate. Frances was one of the founding curators of Tate Modern and has been responsible for curating the permanent collection displays as well as many temporary exhibitions since its opening in 2000. Aside from the Turbine Hall commission Frances has curated Louise Bourgeois: Stiches in Time for IMMA in 2003 and the major retrospective for Tate Modern, Pompidou, LAMOCA and Guggenheim in 2007. Since then she has made retrospectives of work by Yayoi Kusama and Agnes Martin. She is currently working with Catherine Grenier on an exhibition of Alberto Giacometti for 2017.