Do Not Abandon Me is a collaboration between Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin consisting of sixteen intimate works made over the past two years. These drawings articulate physical drives and feelings, candidly confronting themes of identity, sexuality and the fear of loss and abandonment through joint expression.
This series originated with Bourgeois, who began the works by painting male and female torsos in profile on paper, mixing red, blue and black gouache pigments with water to create delicate and fluid silhouettes. Bourgeois then passed the images on to Emin, who later confessed: ‘I carried the images around the world with me from Australia to France, but I was too scared to touch them’. Emin overlaid Bourgeois’s forms with fantasy, drawing smaller figures that engaged with the torsos like Lilliputian lovers, enacting the body’s desires and anxieties. In one, a woman kisses an erect phallus; in another, a small fetus-like form protrudes from a swollen belly. In many, Emin’s handwriting inscribes the images with a narrative, putting into words the emotions expressed in Bourgeois’s vibrant gouaches.
This suite of prints was one of the last projects Louise Bourgeois completed before her death. They were then printed at Dye-namix studio in New York with archival dyes on cloth in an edition of 18 sets with 6 artist proofs. The exhibition travels to Hauser & Wirth from Carolina Nitsch Project Room, New York, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.
Nan Goldin meets Yukio Kobayashi: Naked New York photographed by Nan Goldin Matsuda Autumn/Winter 1996
"I was surrounded by drug abuse. It was something that was always there. The editor, the photographer, everybody was smoking or shooting drugs, so it was natural for me. I just thought that was the way things worked. Did I shoot heroin? No, I sniffed it….I looked so skinny, with black circles under my eyes. It makes me sick, so sick, that’s what they wanted…. My habit became a full-time job….It cost money but I had money. If you give a 15-year-old thousands of dollars, she’s going to buy lots of shoes, clothes – whatever she is into at the time. Magazines will talk shit about you but they’ll still book you.”
I want this one moment. It’s what I want in a relationship…It’s that thing when you’re with someone and you love them, and they know it, and they love you and you know it but it’s a party and you’re both talking to other people and you’re laughing and shining and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes, but not because you’re possessive or it’s precisely sexual, but because that is your person in this life.