The last twenty years of Buljoa: art from trauma

Text/Adrian Searle Compilation/DAISY

Louis Buljia is one of the greatest female contemporary artists in the 20th century. The surging news was informed that the exhibition “weaving children” these days is being held at the Hayward Art Museum in London. The exhibition focuses on the last twenty years of her artistic career. Thinking of the topics such as identity, trauma, memory. The iconic spider sculpture and “cell” series also appeared in the exhibition.

A pair of men and women are in the glass cabinet. The woman suddenly held the man, but the arm was tied up, and her hand was a metal pliers, clamped on the men’s awkward back. Both are made of filled black fabrics, forming a spherical outline behind the glass. The pair of men and women also appeared in another showcase. This time, a woman dragged a joint prosthetic limb, her calf belly was pink, and she extended into a terrible and delicate shoes. This is a terrible work, marking a kind of mental trauma that has continued to adulthood.


“The Good Mother”, 2003, Burchoya

There are glass cabinets everywhere, and the heads stitched together with cloth pads, as well as characters and legs hanging from the ceiling or on the base. The idea was skewed together, the thought was unlocked and connected again. Buljoa’s art inevitably leads to psychoanalysis. She often thinks about Freud, but her art is not systemicly embezzled. Buljoa’s life and what she surrounded constitutes her material. I think she has no choice. She tells the same old story -the extramarital affairs of her father and nanny, her mother’s death, her relationship with her children, she is looking for again and again in the shabby room of memory and obsession. , Amazing and thoughtful things.

“Weaving Children” exhibition site

Buljacia was born in Paris, France in 1911, moved to New York, USA in 1938, and died in Manhattan in 2010. As an immigrant artist. In her long artistic career, she explored a variety of themes including family life, sex and body, death, and subconsciousness. Buljoa’s fabric works excavate the topics such as identity and sex, trauma and memory, guilt and compensation. These themes are her long and legendary career core. In fact, Burchoa is a late -handed artist. In 1982, the exhibition of the New York Museum of Modern Art finally made her have long -term praise and recognition that she could not be obtained for a long time, and her creative power broke out. Her reputation became stronger in the background of physical centered on the 1990s, and her focus was sex, fragility and death.

Louis Bolgoia

Louis Buljia MOMA reviewed the exhibition site, taken by Katherine Keller. Picture source: MOMA file

The body appears in all parts of the exhibition. Sex and motherhood, trauma and jealousy. Buljoa can be interesting, bitter, amazing. The architecture and internal space of the London Hayward Art Museum are an excellent place to show her work. It has been nearly 12 years since Buljoa’s 99 -year -old age, and 15 years after her retrospective exhibition in Tate Modern Art Museum. “The Woven Child” focuses on her last twenty years in her long life. At that time, she rarely left the house in the phobia of the empty environment. But her creation continues. This is a surprising or even terrible exhibition.

Looking backwards, I didn’t look at anyone. Some people opened their mouths and seemed to be talking or exhaling. Some people may be smiling or singing -it is difficult to say. Some heads are like the two sides of the ancient Rome, with a few faces, or a few heads out of the same neck. In a “cell” made of glass and wire, some avatars were beheaded. In the “Cell” series, Buljia brings a challenging and catastrophic concept of sculpture. The interior of the dense and clarity fear makes people easily evoke various associations, and the term cells (Cell) also means cage in English. In another place, a head represents his brother Pierre, and his work has only one ear. The brothers are in a state of accommodation for most of their lives.


“Pierre”, Louis Buljoia

The shabby fabrics -messy, sewing, supplementary, fragmented -she was hung in a room she built, and the room resumed the house she lived in the outskirts of Paris in Paris in her childhood. On a booth, exquisite white vests and shirts, underwear and a pale pink shirt, and a small black skirt, hanging on the bone bone, like a rotating Trojan. On another booth, there is a dress similar to a workwear, and the long red end is dragged on the floor.


“Untitled”, Louis Buljoia


The small portrait of the sewn bows the back or lifted the hips. They wearing small heels on their feet. A basic body is covered with a French beret, like a mushroom. The body parts are constantly changing. A body twisted into a spiral, as if it was involved in the whirlwind of crazy children’s games. There are also elements of amusement in the exhibition. In this way, Buljia is symmetrical towers, or use a thread shaft and needle to make sculptures, reminiscent of the universe in Jean Miró.


Buljoa has been creating at the end of life. She draws, writes, sewn, and builds the giant cell -like nest -like nests, touches those old wounds, jealousy and anger again and again. All this continued to emerge, driving her forward. The stories she told by herself is integrated with the drama shown in her art. She never abandoned anything, but has been working hard. Buljoa used her old clothes with her mother as materials, and she stored the latter in the basement of the brown sandstone house in Chelsea, New York. The smell of these clothing and the association that stimulated it -as well as the metaphor of sewing and cutting, suture and tearing, connecting and repairing -all part of her work.


“Cell” and “Spider”, Louis Bolgoia

The exhibition “weaving children” must be not just about textiles, but a way to enter her later works through Buljoia’s use of fabrics. A huge steel spider stands on a “cell” saying that outside the iron cage, the wall of the iron cage is covered with dilapidated tapestry. Another smaller spider crawled to the woman sitting on the chair. Is the spider or a woman constantly rotating on the chair? Buljia disassembled the striped material, and then reached and sutured. Among those beautiful late works, she created a spider web image. The flowers appear in the center of some spider webs. She has been painting spiders. She said that the spider is a repairman and a guardian. If you destroy its net, it will be patiently knitted out of another network. The same is true of Buljoa, and she started again until the end.


“Louis Buljia: The weaving child” continued from February 9 to May 15.

(This article compiles from the Guardian)

Editor in charge: Qian Xueer

School pair: Ding Xiao

“Weaving Children” exhibition site